Novi Sad, January 25th, 2008, 19:30 -20:00
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After a period of relative normalisation, the politics within the Republic of Turkey has been drifted again into serious conflict. The rise of the governing party, which has its roots from the Islamic movement and which tries now to fuse cultural conservatism with rampant neo-liberalism, has disconcerted the established actors of the regime (army, bureaucracy and the urban bourgeoise) and the urban middle class in the West of the country which feels threatened by the heedless nouveau riche emerging from the conservative provinces. The looming threat of having another military coup was evaded by the landslide election victory of the governing party. The nationalist discourse recovered from the bitter defeat when the Kurdish separatist army decided to resume armed struggle and inflicted serious casualties to the Turkish army. Along the rise of the political tension, the contemporary art scene in Istanbul has experienced a considerable institutionalisation reinforced by the sudden interest of the most prominent bourgeois families and financial corporates into the field. The art practice which has defined itself trough anti-statist, anti-militarist and anti-nationalist stance encountered a bitter dilemma. A strand within these artists surrendered to the recuperative frameworks of the new institutions whereas another strand tried to radicalise it political edge, to the extent of deciding to switch occasionally into anonymous visual production.