Gülsün Karamustafa’s “Hollow and Broken” Exhibition at Venice Biennale – Türkiye Pavilion 2024

 Gülsün Karamustafa’s “Hollow and Broken” Exhibition at Venice Biennale – Türkiye Pavilion 2024

Venice, Italy – At the forefront of contemporary art, the Türkiye Pavilion has unveiled a powerful new exhibition, “Hollow and Broken: A State of the World,” by critically acclaimed Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa, as part of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Set against the historic backdrop of the Arsenale’s Sale d’Armi, the site-specific installation runs from April 20th to November 24th, with an elaborate pre-opening that took place between April 17th and 19th. Karamustafa’s thought-provoking work plunges into the depths of global crises such as wars, earthquakes, and the looming nuclear threat, employing a range of media including sculpture, film, and sound installations to portray a world in turmoil.

In what could be seen as an architectural and spiritual juxtaposition, three chandeliers crafted from discarded Venetian glass hang in the Pavilion, each symbolizing one of the monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, intertwined with barbed wire reflecting historical conflicts. This installation resonates with Karamustafa’s seminal 1998 work “Trellis of My Mind,” drawing upon the shared yet strife-filled histories of these faiths.

The artist’s interpretation of the current state of the world is further expressed through hollow, plastic molds of concrete columns that stand in the exhibition space, symbolizing the fragility and precariousness of modern society. Shattered glass and partially demolished wheeled carts laden with Murano glass shards are strategically placed throughout, hinting at the fragility of cultural heritage and the burden of history.

Karamustafa’s new film premieres at the Pavilion, weaving together black and white images of migration, conflict, and civil unrest from found propaganda footage. The film strips these images of their original context, focusing instead on the human suffering they depict. The accompanying sound installation envelops visitors, its deep tones fluctuating to underscore the visual narrative of the exhibition.

In conjunction with the installation, a publication featuring contributions from 12 authors explores the thematic elements of Karamustafa’s work, both current and past. This comprehensive book, edited by Melis Cankara with design by Esen Karol, promises to offer deeper insights into the artist’s creative journey.

This exhibition is commissioned by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) with support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Türkiye Pavilion has been a staple at the Biennale Arte since 2014, proudly supported by a diverse group of patrons committed to sustaining Türkiye’s cultural representation.

For more information on this riveting exhibition and the publication, visitors can explore the collection at La Biennale bookstores or through Mousse Publishing.

Further information: https://turkiyepavilion24.iksv.org/