NON Gallery, Istanbul: NON Unplugged 2012

Sislej Xhafa
NON Unplugged 2012

May 12 – June 15

Sislej Xhafa will be in conversation with Özge Ersoy* at 17:00 on Saturday, May 12 at NON.

Opening: May 12, 19:00

For his first solo show in Istanbul titled NON Unplugged 2012, Kosovan artist Sislej Xhafa turns NON into a key manufacturing space/shop. This exhibition at NON is a site-specific re-edition of the artist’s 2006 exhibition, MN Unplugged 2006, realized in Frankfurt at the Michael Neff gallery for its final show.

In his works, Xhafa questions the forms and attitudes of social, political, and economical realities of current times using a minimal yet subversive language. A common thread running through his works is an ability to provoke the viewer to actively engage with his works while often ironically highlighting the complexity of modern society.

NON Unplugged 2012 consists of a performative sculpture whose only materials are a key maker, a table and a chair, and a key cutting machine. The key maker will reside at the gallery during the gallery’s open hours and produce copies of the key to the gallery door throughout the day. These keys will be available for purchase from him for a minimal fee, and can be used to gain entrance to the gallery at any time during the exhibition’s duration.

With NON Unplugged 2012, Xhafa transgresses the traditional boundaries of the gallery system, proposing the introduction of an element of transparency to the structure of a private institution. The exhibition will explore themes of trust and security through the agents of interaction and participation within an institutional setting. Do the concepts of trust and security exist in opposition to one another in such a setting? If so, must one be sacrificed for the other to be maintained? These questions are rooted in the notion of the art gallery as a controlled, planned organization of time and space. Exhibitions involve preconceived arrangements of works in a uniform space, and are presented to the public during fixed hours. The public’s experience with works of art, no matter what the medium or discipline, is therefore mediated through an institution’s need for constancy and administrative organization. This specific type of spatial and temporal organization has no conceptual relation to the context of the artworks displayed, but is bound to the submission to the received necessity for security that is rarely subjected to performative critical examination. These are the conventions that will be questioned and challenged during NON Unplugged 2012.

Born in 1970 in Peja, Kosova. Sislej Xhafa is a Kosovan Albanian artist who lives and works in New York. Xhafa has exhibited widely: Galleria Continua, Unpoetic Bride, (2012); François Pinault Foundation, The World Belongs to You, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Hardau City Park, Y, Zürich; MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art Donna Reggina, Still Untitled, Napoli; MAXXI Spazio, Dalle collezioni di arte e architettura, Roma (2011); Il Museo Privato, La passione per l’arte contemporanea nelle collezioni bergamasche, GAMeC, Bergamo; Röda Sten, 2705 Baci…, Göteborg (2010); MART Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Language and Experimentations, Rovereto; PAC Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Ibrido Genetica delle forme, Milano; DEPO, Indefinite Destinations, Istanbul; MADRE, Barock, Napoli (2009); 10th Havana Biennial, Integration and Resistance in the Global Age, Havana; Modern Art Oxford, Transmission Interrupted, Oxford; 7th Gwangju Biennale, Annual Report: A Year in Exhibitions, Gwangju, Korea; MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art, Business, As Usual, Detroit; Schirn Kunsthalle, All-Inclusive A Tourist World, Frankfurt (2008); Istanbul Museum Of Modern Art, Time Present, Time Past, Istanbul; Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Rethinking Dissent, Göteborg, Sweden; Mori Art Museum, All About Laughter: Humor in Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2007); PERFORMA05, Yellow Associates in Motion, New York (2005); I Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Fundación BIACS, La alegria de mis sueños, Monasterio la Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuervas, Sevilla; The Renaissance Society, New Video, New Europe, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, St.Louis; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks; Fundació ‘la Caixa’ la Sala Montcada, Barcelona; Haifa Museum of Art, Israel (2004), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003), Gwangju Biennial, Pause, Gwangju, Korea (2002); 7th International Istanbul Biennial, Egofugal, Istanbul; S.M.A.K., Casino, Gent; PS1, Uniform, New York (2001); Manifesta III, Ljubljana, Slovenia, S.M.A.K., Over the Edges, Gent (2000); Venice Biennale, 47. Venice Biennial, Clandestine Albanian Pavilion, Venice (1997); 48. Venice Biennal, dAPERTutto curated by Harald Szeemann, Venice (1999); 51. Venice Biennial, Albanian Pavilion, Venice (2005).

*Özge Ersoy is a curator and arts writer. Özge holds an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and is currently Program Manager at Collectorspace, a New York-based nonprofit organization that opened its first venue in Istanbul in September 2011.

supported by Art-Travel

NON Gallery
İstiklal Caddesi Mısır Apt. 163/4
Beyoğlu 34430 İstanbul

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