September 25, 2020 - Protocinema - Abbas Akhavan, Burak Delier, Michelle Lopez, Stéphanie Saadé, Hasan Özgür Top: A Few In Many Places
September 25, 2020


Burak Delier, Maya, 2020. Intervention at Ek Biç Ye İç, Kurtuluş, commissioned by Protocinema, Istanbul, New York.

Abbas Akhavan, Burak Delier, Michelle Lopez, Stéphanie Saadé, Hasan Özgür Top
A Few In Many Places
A group exhibition across five cities
September 26–November 28, 2020

Abbas Akhavan
Montreal, 5376-b Avenue du Parc, Parc Offsite, Ambassador: Eli Kerr

Burak Delier
Istanbul, Şeref Meriç Sk. 2-1 A, Kurtuluş, Ek Biç Ye İç, Baker: Kemal Çayan

Michelle Lopez
Philadelphia, in the vicinity of the Liberty Bell, Market St. & Independence Hall, Composer: Austin Fisher

Stéphanie Saadé
Beirut, depo in port, exact address to follow, Partner: Marfa’ Projects

Hasan Özgür Top
Berlin, Skalitzer Str. 114, Kreuzberg, BulBul Berlin, Ambassador: Cihan Küçük 

Protocinema presents A Few In Many Places, a group show which consists of five artist interventions in five cities, hyper-localized and globally interconnected. These artists: Abbas Akhavan in Montreal; Burak Delier in Istanbul; Michelle Lopez in Philadelphia; Stéphanie Saadé in Beirut; and Hasan Özgür Top in Berlin; each address inherited cycles of violence, the breaking of these cycles and rebuilding of ideally healthier systems.

A Few In Many Places commissioned works are interventions in a local shop or empty space in the artists’ neighborhoods that will be open in or out of quarantine, using low material consumption, without flights or shipping. All of these works are linked by ProtoZine, with texts rolling out over the run of the show by: Rayya Badran, Fawz Fabra, Adam Kleinman, Asli Seven, and Abhijan Toto.

Stéphanie Saadé will reverse actions of the common bullet-rigged metallic storefront in Beirut for A Discreet Intruder, 2020, with 38 new holes, using a gun and bullets, with the aim of reversing the cycle of violence associated to the stirred up history. The position of the holes corresponds to end points of routes taken during childhood. The number of holes corresponds to her age (37) with one extra hole for the departure point of all the routes: her family home. This work is set in an empty depo in the Beirut port, seen from the inside, these holes let in sunlight and a celestial serenity, during unprecedented crises. Burak Delier’s intervention, Maya, 2020, will be in the permaculture bakery, Ek Biç Ye İç, Kurtuluş, in Istanbul, consisting of a video on cultivating bread yeast by way of voice, sound and light/videos that reflect the history of the region, then baking and sharing his bread, for people to eat. Yeast inherently has memory that traditionally, before the industrialization of food, goes back many generations and carries with it its own stories and traumas, which work as a metaphor for corrosive lineages in other aspects of civic life.

Hasan Özgür Top focuses on the propaganda materials of the Islamic State and examines the similarities between the narratives of radical and totalitarian movements. His video, on view in BulBul, Berlin, a Kreuzberg café-bar, The Fall of a Hero, 2020, is made with both found and DIY footage in which he constructs a fictional yet self-reflective work, tracing routes of masculine mythologies from the classical era to today. A silent video by Abbas AkhavanSpill, 2020, will be projected nightly, between dusk and dawn, through the exterior window of Parc Offsite in Montreal, a new art space in a former apartment rezoned as a storefront in the 1970s. Accompanying this video during the days is a floor installation inside. This installation lingers somewhere between a set for chroma key filming, a fictional space to both conceal and insert elements, and potentially the material aftermath of a large accident.  

In Philadelphia, Michelle Lopez’s audio installation, Keep Their Heads Ringin’, 2020, takes on the complicated symbolism of the American Liberty Bell as an emblem of freedom and equality, which is also marked with failure: its famed crack rendered the iconic hunk of cast iron broken and silenced at its arrival. Her sound installation will be heard at noon on weekdays in the vicinity of the Liberty Bell, Market Street & Independence Hall, questioning notions of freedom, by laying bare the violence of institutional racism and its degradations. The accumulation of slander will slowly ring the reality of the current American climate by one “ding” and one “dong” at a time.

All of these artists will each activate their own communities on a grassroots level, reflecting on our current context and the cycle of a long line of tragic human sagas and how, if it is possible, we may “turn and face the fire” to realign these cycles for a greater good. These interventions are for real-life audiences, hyper-localized and globally interconnected, for a few people in many places.

Beginning September 26, 2020, Beirut beginning date to follow.
Each location is open during their regular business hours, or as described.

Special thanks: Marfa’ Projects, Beirut; Joumana Asseily, Henri Asseily, Laeticia Zalloum, Charbel-Joseph H. Boutros, Grey Noise, Dubai; Gallery Akinci, Amsterdam; Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris; Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver; Third Line Gallery, Dubai; Parc Offsite, Montreal; Eli Kerr, Elliott Elliott, Ek Biç Ye İç, Istanbul;  Aycan Tüylüoğlu; Ekin Doğrusöz, Kemal Çayan, Zeynep Oktar, Michael Önder, Şeyda Delier, Hande Yağmur, Özgür Kızılelma, Bariş Öktem, BulBul Berlin, Cihan Küçük, Annelie Graf, Ayşegül Altunay, SAHA Association, Istanbul; Taner Taner, Austin Fisher.

Abbas Akhavan

Burak Delier
Michelle Lopez
Stéphanie Saadé
Hasan Özgür Top

More: Ela Perşembe, ela [​at​] / T +90531 923 3778
Mari Spirito, mari [​at​] / T +1 917 660 7332 / T +90541 468 0214

Protocinema is a cross-cultural, mission driven art organization, commissioning and presenting site-aware art in Istanbul, New York and elsewhere. We produce context-specific projects of the highest artistic quality that are accessible to everyone. Protocinema evokes empathy towards understanding of difference, across regions though exhibitions, educational public programming and mentorship. Protocinema maintains long-term relationships with artists nurturing sustained growth. Founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, Protocinema is a registered 501(c)3, free of “brick and mortar,” sites vary to respond both to global concerns and changing conditions on the ground.

Protocinema is supported by: FFAI Foundation for Arts Initiatives, The Cowels Charitable Trust, New Jersey; SAHA Association, Istanbul; 601 Artspace, New York

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A Few In Many Places
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