The exhibition I’ll be your mirror follows the life, migration and family history of Aykan Safoğlu. The year 2008 is the starting point of the exhibition — it’s the year
The exhibition I’ll be your mirror follows the life, migration and family history of Aykan Safoğlu. The year 2008 is the starting point of the exhibition — it’s the year in which the artist moved from Istanbul to Berlin. From there, the exhibition weaves video essays, installations and photographs into a variety of stories that thematize migration, heroes of the past, remembrance work and history, describing both historical facts and individual experiences. Within this frame, Safoğlu draws on the stories of his aunt Zerrin and uncle Hüseyin, who migrated from Turkey to Germany in the 1960s; describes his own youth in Istanbul, where he attended a German school; and talks, for example, about the writer James Baldwin, who lived in Turkey from time to time. In his video works, Safoğlu places fragments of these stories in relation to one another, making them visible or exposing them, so that they stand in the foreground.
Safoğlu’s friends and companions, whom he includes in his work as allies and protagonists, play an important role in the narratives that appear in the exhibition. Alongside Gülşen Aktaş, for example, the artist looks at questions of migration and society in the video works ziyaret, visit (2019) and Untitled (Gülşen and Hüseyin) (2015) by blurring together the roles played in front of and behind the camera, as well as different narratives. Or, in the essay Aunt Yellow (2021), he brings his companions to the surface — two LGBTQI* activists from Istanbul, who accompanied him on a visit to his aunt near Cologne. I’ll be your mirror is an invitation to immerse oneself in the history of Safoğlu and his companions, offering, at the same time, a starting point to reflect on one’s own experiences and personal memories.
Aykan Safoğlu (*1984, Istanbul / TUR) lives and works in Vienna, Berlin and Istanbul. He is a PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and has studied in Istanbul, Berlin and New York. Aykan Safoğlu has participated in many international exhibitions and biennales, including Berlin Biennale (2020), among others, and has had solo exhibitions in Sweden, Austria and Turkey. I’ll be your mirror is the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany.
Curated by Vincent Schier
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with contributions from Linnéa Bake, Merve Elveren, Carlos Kong, Aykan Safoğlu and Vincent Schier.
The exhibition will be shown at the Alte Rathaus in cooperation with the Fachdienst Kultur der Stadt Göttingen.
We thank our funding partners:
17. Oktober (Sonntag) - 12. Dezember (Sonntag)
Kunstverein Göttingen im Alten Rathaus
Markt 9, 37073 Göttingen
Tuesday – Sunday
11 am – 5 pm