August 19, 2019 - House of Taswir - Wednesday Society. The Couch of Meret O.
August 19, 2019

House of Taswir

Meret Oppenheim, Crossed Legs, 1985. Gouache on black paper, 51 x 67 cm. Photo: Dirk Masbaum/Courtesy LEVY Galerie, Hamburg.

Wednesday Society. The Couch of Meret O.
Homage to Beral Madra. In collaboration with the 16th International Istanbul Biennial
September 19–October 18, 2019

Vernissage: September 18, 6:30–10pm
Writing performances Ladies of Power: September 19–October 18, various hours

Artam Antik Palace
Süleyman Seba Cad. Maçka Talimyeri Sok. No:2

Artists: Meret Oppenheim, Rebecca Horn, Tony Chakar, Natela Iankoshvili, Gülçin Aksoy

Wednesday Society. The Couch of Meret O. takes place at Artam Antik Palace, a nineteenth-century Ottoman mansion in Istanbul's popular Maçka neighborhood that opens its doors to international positions in contemporary art. Addressing what Freud called the "dark continent" of female desire, the exhibition presents works of the legendary Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim and Georgian artist Natela Iankoshvili for the first time in Istanbul, next to a number of rarely seen works of Rebecca Horn from the Collection Peter Raue in Berlin. Wednesday Society exhibits parts of the digital archive of Beral Madra, curator of the first and second Istanbul Biennial, paying homage to a pioneering female contemporary figure in Istanbul's art scene and beyond. Wednesday Society combines digital and analog, private and public, holy and profane formats of white cube and museum, living room and house of wisdom, psychoanalytic chamber and Madonna's corner.

The exhibition's inspiration is derived from a setting usually not associated with the visual arts, the gathering of intellectuals in Sigmund Freud's private reception room at Berggasse 19 in Vienna: (male) friends and colleagues convened there in the midst of Freud's idiosyncratic collection of ancient Middle Eastern artworks on Wednesdays to discuss new concepts, methods, and ideas related to the emerging field of psychoanalysis. Our Wednesday Society is the feminized version of that setting, an emerging place of power, exploring the "dark continent" of irregular, nonphallic, dispersed, poetic, and imaginary ways of thinking. Wednesday Society explores the spatial order of dreamwork, poetry, caress, and diplomatic coups. Centrally staged, the exhibition hosts a pop-up nineteenth-century salon, an in-situ scene in which the curator hosts special guests at regular hours in private conversation on her couch that are open to the public with two scribes projecting mural writings on the walls.

Istanbul artist Gülçin Aksoy's Family Cemetery I Love invokes Freud's study with his famous couch, inviting visitors to come face to face with their own ghosts. A poetry thread by Ana Sontag is spanned throughout the entire exhibition with poetic splinters by Meret Oppenheim, Rebecca Horn, Ibn Arabi, Hélène Cixous, the Talmud, Song of Songs, Fethi Benslama, Geneviève Morel, a.o. Artworks are displayed as fragmentary elements of space, including the work Dancing Table, a personal anthology of contemporary art dedicated to Beral Madra by House of Taswir.

Tony Chakar's Madonna, The Discourse of the Last Things Before the First, veils the secrets of the exhibition—it is the last room that is also the first.

House of Taswir, a.k.a. Taswir projects, is an international platform for artistic research and diasporic thinking founded 2007 in Berlin by A.S. Bruckstein Çoruh. House of Taswir creates exhibitions and research projects together with artists, thinkers, scholars, and institutions across time. It cultivates techniques of free association and explores principles of poetic dissemination. House of Taswir's exhibitions are contemporary-ancient, connecting objects, positions, people, places.

Wednesday Society. The Couch of Meret O. is conceived by House of Taswir in collaboration with Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), Artam Antik A.S., Goethe-Institut, Allianz Kulturstiftung, ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Kulturakademie Tarabya, and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Istanbul. With thanks to Collection Peter Raue (Berlin), Galerie Kornfeld (Berlin), LEVY Galerie (Hamburg), BM CAC (Istanbul), and Santimetre Studio (Ayvalik/New York).

House of Taswir
Share - Wednesday Society. The Couch of Meret O.
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York