open call

Call for Applications

Open to all visual artists and researchers living in Turkey or Germany
who are working on the topic of site-specificity

«Taking site!»

Workshop at 5533 art space, Istanbul (TR)
Exhibition at D21 art space, Leipzig (DE)
April 18, 2013 – May 03, 2013

The «taking site!» project will consist of a workshop with participants at 5533 art space in Istanbul between April 18 and May 03, 2013, with the results and processes being simultaneously exhibited at D21 Kunstraum in Leipzig.  

The meaning of the term site-specificity in the field of art has changed essentially within the last decades. Emerging in the 1960s as a renunciation of a self-contained, transportable, therefore commodity-like artwork, site-specificity allowed the artwork to relate to its environment. Influences of institutional critique transformed this definition of site-specific art. Eventually, the site was defined not only by the physical environment of the space, but also by the social communities with their hierarchies and economic situations. The community, often understood as the marginalized and underprivileged, became the new focus of site-specific artworks. Concomitantly, the appearance of the artworks changed from aesthetic objects into predominantly process focused events that were merely temporary in the space.

Our current concepts of society, nation and city rely on sedentariness, but today’s increasing mobility challenges these concepts. Tourists and migrants are generally relieved from rights and duties of a governmental politic. Indeed, this de-territorialization does have liberating effects. Miwon Kwon notes in «One place after another» that the limitations of an identity, which is determined and normalized by a site, can be replaced by the production of multiple identities, flexible bonds and meanings. However, as the site-specific bonds are released, the status as a political subject also vanishes. 

The working conditions of artists are nowadays nomadic and project-related. Residency programs support and demand mobility and simultaneously an examination of the site, where the artists sojourn temporarily. What can artists understand about a site where they just stay only temporarily? Are their experiences not always mediatized with Internet research and interaction with on-site institutions? Faced with the last remnants of differences in cities – how can the artist refrain from reproducing an image of the exotic other and avoid forcing a fixed identity on the community?

A status as a political subject – can this issue be raised, claimed and transferred to others, by 
artists and their work at an «alien» place? What could be site-specificity today?

Please send your submission in English via e-mail by FEBRUARY 17th, 2013 
to including:

pre-existing works related to the theme with a short statement (artistic or scientific);
some examples of current works; and
a short curriculum vitae including name and contact information.

Please send all documents as pdfs contained in one zip-file.

The jury consists of members of D21, 5533 and independent artists. Eight artists/researchers will be chosen in the middle of February 2013. The selected participants will be informed immediately following the jury meeting. Artists/researchers not chosen for the exhibition will be notified per email shortly thereafter. 

We are working on financing travel costs and accomodations for the travelling participants. Production costs of artworks during the workshop/ exhibition will be covered. The secure financial circumstances will be announced in March 2013.

«Taking Site!» is a cooperation between 5533 art space Istanbul and D21 Kunstraum Leipzig.

D21 Kunstraum was founded in 2006 to show an international program of contemporary art, especially new media, installation and performance in Leipzig. The space is run by members of the D21 Association. 

5533 was opened in 2008 by Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan as an experimental non-profit art space. The main aims are hosting international projects and interactive events involving exhibitions, artist talks, workshops and round table discussions; conducting art related research, 
materializing projects, and sharing these with the neighbors, the art community, and the general public. 

Supported by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen and Kulturamt der Stadt Leipzig.