Curator: Rosa Martinez
Venue: Istanbul Modern
Dates: September 18th, 2005, January 8th, 2006


Istanbul Modern
Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman Sahasi
Antrepo No:4 Karakoy - Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 334 73 00
Fax: +90 212 243 43 19
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00; Thursdays: 10:00 to 20:00
Closed on Mondays


For further information please contact:
Handan Senkoken, Press Office
Tel: + 90 212 243 65 61
Fax: +90 212 243 43 19

The notion of “Centre of Gravity” applied to the world of art refers to the continuous play between equilibrium and uncertainty to create new and meaningful conceptual and aesthetic worlds. The multiplicity of trends in contemporary art and the emergence of new geographical centres of cultural significance have introduced relevant transformations in pictorial and sculptural languages and have also facilitated the balance between centre and periphery, creating new centres of gravity outside the classical hegemonic ones.

Interrelating many levels of meaning and multiple aesthetic perspectives, the exhibition entitled Centre of Gravity marks certain significant moments in the aesthetic production of the past few decades, presenting artists of international renown such as Haluk Akakçe, Pilar Albarracín, Ghada Amer, Janine Antoni, Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor, Gülsün Karamustafa, Rem Koolhaas, Jeff Koons, Juan Muñoz, Kemal Önsoy, Santiago Sierra, Richard Wentworth and Maaria Wirkkala.. The exhibition is held coinciding with the celebration of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial and other cultural events that complement one another, turning the city into a genuine international centre of gravity. While the Biennial diligently pursues its consolidation as a reference for new artistic developments, Istanbul Modern, which opened on 11 December 2004, is taking its first steps with the aim of institutionalising the memory of modern art produced in Turkey and of bringing to Istanbul outstanding works by established artists who have revealed some of the aesthetical, social and political concerns of our convulsed world. The title of this first international exhibition also plays with the idea of Istanbul Modern as a new gravitational centre in relation to its geopolitical area and to the global context of new international museums. The artists are presenting works subtly united by an invisible common thread: that of reflection on equilibrium, either in the physical, the psychological, the cultural or the political sphere.

All the works displayed are propounded as centres for condensing meaning in order to transform the exhibition into a place for symbolic exchange between artists and the community. Helping to form critical and sensitive citizens and to promote new aesthetic and political dialogues are undoubtedly fundamental tasks for museums. Aesthetic experience implies a breach in the automatic reading of signs, for it reflects and subverts representational space proposing new gazes, new reflections. Paul Valéry wrote that poetic creation is the creation of expectation, and political hope for social change can also be included in this will. Today, it is necessary to encourage new relations based on desire, to establish transferences with people, objects or symbolic systems to favour the creation of that ‘transferential plasticity’ that will help us recover and heal the world in which we live. Expectation, pleasure and reflection are what we hope this exhibition, within its bounds, will help to generate.

On the occassion of the exhibition a full colour catalogue has been produced. In addition to the essay by the curator, texts by Homi Bhabha, Louise Bourgeois, Christian Boltanski, Rem Koolhaas, Jan-Erik Lundström and other significant writers will be included together with an interview to the Nobel Physiscs prize Ilya Prigogine realized by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Exhibition Sponsor: Türk Ekonomi Bankasi

Founder: Eczacibasi
Main Sponsors: Avea – Hedef Alliance