Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015

Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015


Book and cover design: Vahit Tuna. Cover photo: Sevgi Avcı. Book photo: Mustafa Hazneci, SALT.

August 17, 2020
Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015
Bankalar Caddesi 11
34421 Istanbul Karaköy

”[…] I wanted to respond to that particularly gloomy period marked by the canonization of death… when our lives were engulfed with fear. I constantly reminded my students that the most important thing in life was to live—that life was precious.”*

SALT presents a new print publication of two separate volumes in Turkish and English, Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015, as part of an ongoing effort to revisit and narrate Turkey’s art scene from the second half of the 20th century onwards. Offering an in-depth survey of Çekil’s oeuvre, the publication serves as a comprehensive resource, potentially leading to further research endeavours on the artist and his practice.

Çekil was born in the district of Bor, Niğde in Central Anatolia. Following his graduation from the Arts-Crafts Department at the Gazi Education Institute in Ankara, Çekil went to Paris, where he studied sculpture at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts between 1970 and 1975. Upon his return to Turkey, he was appointed to teach at the Istanbul Atatürk Education Institute. In 1978, Çekil settled in Izmir—a city he spent 30 years of his life as an academic and artist, and helped establish a notable contemporary art scene. Detailing his training, professional life, works, and contributions to academia and culture, SALT Research catalogued and digitized Çekil’s archive. This long-term project was accompanied with a series of conversations held with the artist at his studio in Tarabya, Istanbul between 2012 and 2013.

Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015 opens with a monograph by Erden Kosova, which takes on a journey through Çekil’s life—beginning in his native Bor, followed by Ankara, Van, Paris, Izmir, and finally Istanbul. The text meticulously examines his educational background and artistic practice as well as his academic roles and contributions. Edited by Ezgi Arıduru and Merve Elveren, the publication brings together articles by Ahu Antmen, Sevgi Avcı, Vasıf Kortun, and Sarah Neel-Smith, alongside interviews by Vahap Avşar and Hans Ulrich Obrist. An additional volume in the EPUB format, School of Cengiz Çekil is based on a video work of the same title by Çekil’s former student Vahap Avşar. Edited by Vasıf Kortun, the text is compiled from a series of intimate conversations that took place between Çekil and Avşar over a period of 20 years, beginning in 1995 in Ankara.

This project, which was initialized and conducted by the artist’s gallery Rampa until its closure in 2017, was assigned to SALT in 2019 under the patronage of Rampa’s co-founder Leyla Tara Suyabatmaz and with the full consent of the Çekil family. Conceived to commemorate and scrutinize the artist’s practice, both Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015 and School of Cengiz Çekil carry a special significance as they convey the artist’s own voice and ideas today.

*A quote from Cengiz Çekil on his work Diary (1976), later acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 2011.


Cengiz Çekil: 21.08.1945-10.11.2015
English / 343 pages ©2020 SALT/ Garanti Kültür AŞ (Istanbul)
ISBN: 978-9944-731-60-7
Editors: Ezgi Arıduru, Merve Elveren
Texts: Ahu Antmen, Sevgi Avcı, Vasıf Kortun, Erden Kosova, Sarah-Neel Smith
Interview: Hans Ulrich Obrist
Book and cover design: Vahit Tuna
Translations from Turkish to English: Setenay Şekercioğlu (pp. 10-269, 278-287, 300-310); Liz Erçevik Amado & Irazca Geray (pp. 272-277, 312-317); Ezgi Arıduru (pp. 148-149)
Copyediting and proofreading: Ziya Dikbaş
Photos: Reha Arcan, Sevgi Avcı, NB, Eda Çekil, Cemal Emden, Bernard Guillot, Mustafa Hazneci, Sevdiye Kahraman, Barış Özçetin, Utku Ural, Kristof Vrancken, Chroma (André Carvalho & Tuğba Carvalho), FluFoto (Elif Çakırlar & Barış Aras)
Cover photo: Sevgi Avcı
Photo editing and printing: Ofset Yapımevi
Available at Robinson Crusoe 389 Bookstore (SALT Beyoğlu and SALT Galata)

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August 17, 2020

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