Representing 'People': Notes on Contemporary Political Art in Turkey through Delier's and Arıkan's Works
Representation of people has always been central to political art. The idealistic conceptions of 'folk' as heroic comrades in perfect shape, always in appropriate political-ethical action, have long ceased to be the dominant way of representation, if not lost all its persuasiveness. Works of two artists from Turkey, Burak Delier and Burak Arikan gives two distinct and extreme examples of contemporary modes of representation of people. Focusing on radical politics by offering the "Parkalynch" for activists subject to police violence, Delier explores the limits of art and politics, and refers to individual in action instead of representing them idealistically. Arikan, on the other hand, with his ambition to network systems, represents human action through the detectable media, and uses the data from network flows to map a secondary topography of massive actions, gatherings, etc. representing the mass in its pure sense. The article proposes to take these cases as recent examples to sketch out a brief discussion on contemporary political art in Turkey.
Keywords: Art, Politics, Turkish Case, Burak Delier, Burak Arıkan
Instructor, Department of Industrial Design, Anadolu University