The first edition of Mamut Art Project ran five years ago with the goal of nurturing a mutually beneficial network of up-and-coming Turkish artists and young patrons and collectors. “It provides a unique opportunity to discover and experience art, and engage personally with artists, offering an important alternative to the established commercial art fair model,” said Mamut director, Seren Kohen. With an ethos grounded in the belief that culture and arts are fundamental elements of education and triggers of social development, the carefully selected pool of artists champion local talent while providing accessible, affordable and alternative opportunities within the art market for all involved.
The 2017 edition sees 50 artists chosen from over 1,000 applications by a jury that includes acclaimed conceptual artist Sarkis; Sotheby’s Istanbul consultant Elif Bayoğlu; curator of documenta 13 and the 13th Istanbul Biennial, Övül Durmuşoğlu; art critic Murat Alat; and collector and chairman of the Board of Directors of Akkök Holding, Ali Raif Dinçkök. The works range from painting and miniature through to photography, graffiti and installation, offering the event’s targeted audience, as well as the general public, a broad spectrum of media from which to be inspired.
While the performance sector returns for its second annual run, this year is marked by a new dedicated performance space that will continue to be helmed by Simge Burhanoğlu, founder of Performistanbul, and Seyhan Musaoğlu, founder of Space Debris. Building off of last year’s theme of Did you notice the performance? is How are you? (Nasilsin?), which will take a deeper look at the oft-overlooked question. The curatorial statement expresses a desire to “breathe, feel, live and be lived together and to mutually reform with the experience we will create together,” and artists including Merve Akyel, Gamze Öztürk and Yağmur Taçar, among others, will showcase their performance works.
With new developments on the horizon, the continued positive feedback and results have proven motivational for the Mamut team. “This has encouraged me to consider organising Mamut abroad,” hints Kohen. “I am looking forward to reaching out to young talents in different countries and regions in the near future.”
Mamut Art Project runs 26-30 April at KüçükÇiftlik Park, Istanbul, Turkey. For more information visit mamutartproject.com