The (new) migrant: contemporary visual artists beyond Turkey
(University of Amsterdam )
Paper short abstract:
Drawing from Hannah Arendt's analysis of statelessness as a symptomatic experience of the modern era, this article explores migration and mobility from Turkey to Europe and its role in the making of transnational identities through art.
Paper long abstract:
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of art produced by a number of artists who travel widely to create and exhibit their work, much of which derives from their experiences of homeland, migration, and encounter. Drawing from Hannah Arendt's analysis of statelessness as a symptomatic experience of the modern era, this article explores migration from Turkey to Europe and its role in the making of transnational identities. It specifically investigates the articulation and dynamics of hyphenated European-Turkish identities through migratory aesthetics, and new forms of European and diasporic citizenship through the work and biographies of contemporary visual artists originally from Turkey who have left their "home" for various reasons (education or artist residencies) and have consciously chosen to migrate as adults. What makes these artists particularly pertinent for an investigation of new forms of identity, citizenship-making, and "belonging" in contemporary Europe is that their art could be considered to some extent "homeless": it neither belongs fully in Europe nor in Turkey, nor can it exist without these two. Concentrating on their art as "snapshots," this paper focuses on the politics of belonging through an investigation of how these artistic trajectories are mapped in a transnational context through the cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, and Istanbul.
Anthropological border crossings and migratory aesthetics