22.11.2017 - 19.00 Uhr

Opening: 22. November 2017 | 19:00


mekân68 is proud to present a solo exhibition by Ali ÖZ. The exhibition opens on 22. November 2017 at 19:00.


The Exhibition

Right in the heart of İstanbul, a neighbourhood is being torn down!

The streets that make up the physical fabric of the neighbourhood, the buildings that give colour to those streets, its houses, its workplaces, and the men, women, and children who live there… a thousand and one varieties of life are being destroyed/annulled.

Tarlabaşı is being sacrificed in the name of “gentrification”!

Tarlabaşı: A Defiled Istanbul District brings us face to face with this process in its all vividness, a poignant reality which is hardly aesthetic.

Ali Öz, a veteran photographer, practically lived in Tarlabaşı for two years. He has recorded the “destruction/annulment” process that the city and the neighbourhood have suffered frame by frame. He has revealed on every corner the face of Tarlabaşı, which has suddenly just been “vaporised” in the name of “urban renewal”, street after street, step by step - from the Azerbaijani to the Pakistani and the African; from those who sought refuge in İstanbul after the Bingöl earthquake to the stuffed mussels sellers; from the coffee-houses to the beer-houses, bars and cheap night clubs. 

Through his lens, Öz has captured more than thirty thousand images of Tarlabaşı and its residents, whose lives he accompanied and whose destinies he witnessed for exactly one and a half years, day and night, in the hot and in the cold. After a small selection of his work was published on social media, the reality of Tarlabaşı became publicly known.

Tarlabaşı: A Defiled Istanbul District, is a witness to how the city, neighbourhoods, streets and people have been defiled and lost.

Allan B. Jacobs says, “The best streets are those that can be remembered. They leave strong, long-continuing positive impressions. Thinking of a city, including one’s own, one might well think of a particular street and have a desire to be there; such a street is memorable… The best [streets] are as joyful as they are utilitarian. They are entertaining and they are open to all. They permit anonymity at the same time as individual recognition. They are symbols of a community and of its history; they represent a communal memory.”

While our urban, historical and communal symbols and memories are being destroyed, we look once again upon our losses and our disgrace.


 31.05.2017 - 19.00 Uhr

Exhibition Opening: 31 May 2017 | 19:00

“Fragmentation and its reversibility – phrasing the question”

by Simon Barta

mekân68 is proud to present “Fragmentation and its reversibility – phrasing the question” – a solo exhibition by Simon Barta. The exhibition opens on 31 May 2017 at 19:00.


The Exhibition

A limited space gets its meaning (the answer) in the shape of its limitation (the question).  Because the answer (i.e. the space) only gets its form and its content through the question, we can understand the search for the questions as a creative process, or, in other words, we can phrase the questions in such a way that they form a search for artistic sense in the limited space.

We take a text and fragment it (alienation) into its components, i.e. into words or letters, until it is nothing but an object. At the same time we examine its original shape, the reversibility of the process (but reversibility no longer in the mechanical but in the dialectical sense) by looking for a kind of "narrative" in the object!

The question can also be phrased in such a way that fragmentation is only achieved by taking several images (e.g. several canvases) as fragments of a single image and bringing them together to form a single "object image".

Through these questions we try to approach an artistic language that includes dialectical transformation.

 16.03.2017 - 19.00 Uhr

Exhibition Opening: 16 March 2017 | 19:00

“Unpredictable Snapshots” by Sait Mingü

mekân68 is proud to present „Unpredictable Snapshots“ – a solo exhibition by the Turkish contemporary artist Sait Mingü. The exhibition opens on 16 March 2017 at 19:00.


Sait Mingü displays realistic figures in unexpected worlds with the use of an unusual and dynamic line, a refined sense of colour and strong expressiveness.


Mingü combines fleeting, beautiful and yet surreal snapshots that are freed from ordinary and routine life. He emphasises the opposite of this daily routine with a reality filled with fantasy, a love of nature and the vivid. Through the use of ecoline, the colours the artist uses are profound and highlight the overwhelming emotions and those fluctuations of his inner world.


Fascinated by the sea and the world beyond that first impression, Mingü displays a world of incomparable creatures, shapes and colours. Previously a diver, he inserts an octopus, a shark, a sting ray into the picture. Both humans and animals are central. One sees a flying dog with balloons, a woman with her legs standing in the air, jumping men and women. Clear elements of water, air earth and gravity are put on display. In his figures one notices his passion for comic books as well as the digital world, here also used in his painting technique. Drawing, painting and new media come together in his works and his signature technique. 

The strong contours of the figural elements are lively and at the same time blurred. The intensity of emotions becomes apparent through the use of colour and blend with the transparent, rhythmic lines of calm and simplicity that meet with an emptiness, loneliness and existential angst-turned-melancholy. The artist places value on form and composition that the viewer finds in the combination of reality and dream, geometric fiction and a poetic atmosphere.


Mingü himself explains that: “Each work has its own language. If I were able to transfer this language in words, I would not paint, I would write”. The artist’s works are on display in the exhibition “Unpredictable Snapshots” at mekân68 from 17 March to 13 May 2017.




About the artist


Sait Mingü was born in Istanbul in 1977 and graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Mimar Sinan Universtiy of Fine Arts in Istanbul. From 2001-2006, he worked as Art Director at the advertising agency Saatchi&Saatchi. Since 2006, he works as a full-time artist.



“Mute Images” aims to explore how video language has changed based on the works of Ferhat Özgür. The exhibition sets out to display the use of images by a contemporary artist who studied painting and worked in the academy within the same field and indirectly understand the “language” of video image through the transformation of that image. The journey of the image within the regime of representation is under scrutiny through his photographs and videos.


Contemporary French philosopher J. Ranciere analyzes the fundamental epistemic breakup  within the regime of representation through “mute speech”. In literary theory this is the exact moment when oral literature gives way to reading by eye sweeping. This transformation, which is simultaneously the episteme of modernism according to Ranciere, is the shift from verbal narrative of the experience into the visual narrative of the impression. Ranciere's definition fully accounts for the 1960’s in terms of video art. The post 1990, however, witness an opposite tendency in which video opts for storytelling to explain the image. While it was the image that turns mute speech into meaning in recent past, in today’s video it is the word that turns mute image into meaning. Originality of Ferhat Özgür's videos owes much to this shift. “Mute Images”, in a microcosm, delves into the oscillation of the language between language and speechlessness.