Ferhat Özgür ‘I Can Sing’,
PS 1 MOMA, NEW YORK
25 October 2012-31 December 2012
Curator: Klaus Biesenbach, Director, MoMA PS1, and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art.
22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
Ferhat Özgür’s (1965-Ankara) practice critiques contemporary political realities with humor and irony. Living and working in Istanbul, Özgür principally focuses upon the relationship of the individual with society, using his work as a space within which individuality can be expressed in spite of the context of oppressive environments.
Özgür‘s video I Can Sing (2008), depicts an Anatolian woman in a headscarf, standing before a backdrop of contemporary Ankara featuring minarets alongside the ever-expanding sprawl of urban development. The woman’s lips move in conflict with the soundtrack of Jeff Buckley’s cover version of Leonard Cohen’s classic song “Hallelujah”. Her personal lament becomes a lament for the disappearance of cultural traditions and identities in the wake of western homogenization. She appears to both praise and despair, but the lines between Islam and Christianity, Western influence and Turkish tradition are blurred--suggesting that change is being both embraced and shunned. She is an embodiment of societal upheaval and change. Even the major key of the Western popular song is an indicator of uprooting as it obliterates the minor tones characteristic of Turkish music.
Ferhat Özgür graduated from Gazi University, Education Faculty, Department Of Painting in 1989. Having completed his master and doctorate studies in Hacettepe University Fine Arts Faculty, Department of Painting in 1997, he was appointed to the same department as academic where he has taught for nearly two decades. He currently works and teaches in Istanbul Kültür University, Art and Design Faculty, Department of Communication Design (Multimedia). Özgür took part in the 6th Berlin Biennale, the 10th Istanbul Biennale and 3rd Örebro Open Art Biennale-Sweeden, 1st Mardin Biennale and Sinopale 1, 3, Çanakkale Biennale 2012, Turkey, 8th Cairo Biennale. His works have been exhibited in numerous venues including, Centre George Pompidou-Paris, Haus der Kulturen Der Welt-Berlin, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, MUMOK-Wien, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo-Turin, Mattress Factory Art Museum-Pittsburgh, Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art Comtemporaine, Magazin 4 Bregenz-Austria, Zone Contemporaine-Bern etc.
For further detail: http://momaps1.org/exhibitions/view/362