Curated by: Ceren Arkman & Irmak Arkman
Monochrome focuses on digital art at its purest, as black-and-white works provide the perfect reflection of an art form that is, in its essence, based on a binary system of 1′s and 0′s.
Created along the shades of a single color, thus stripped of possibilities afforded by the variety of color, the black-and-white aesthetics of the artworks that make up this exhibition derive their power from a primal appreciation of line and geometry. They avail themselves to instant appreciation, being minimal yet powerful and grasping in their movement and technology/novelty.
They are simultaneously simple and immediate, yet complex and multi-layered. Whether one choses simply to observe the surface or to delve into deeper layers, the pleasure of viewing these artworks always remains. They are embodiments of “free beauty” in the Kantian sense: devoid of imitation, meaning, and morals, they are simply beautiful in and of themselves.
They play with our perceptions, creating alternative spaces/worlds/natures for us to experience and enjoy. Monochrome is first and foremost an exhibition that seeks to be enjoyed by its audience. Monochrome was developed by the digital art professional and curator duo Ceren and Irmak Arkman and features art by world renowned digital artists Ryoichi Kurokawa, LIA, Quayola, Memo Akten, Simon Heijdens and Zimoun, as well as Istanbul’s very own Selçuk Artut, Ouchhh and Refik Anadol.
Ceren and Irmak Arkman have been organizing international festivals, screenings, exhibitions, live AV events, workshops and seminars in the field of digital arts and design both in Turkey and abroad since 2005.
Starting off as a non-profit organization called Kurye Video, they formed the most formidable video archive in Istanbul and organized various festivals such as: Kurye Festival (digital arts), Space Invaders (video game art), OFFF 2012 (digital design), Grid (digital design festival which continues to run biannually in Istanbul and will have a London edition this coming spring) and developed Contra, the first contemporary Turkish art fair to take place outside of Turkey.
The first edition of Contra took place last year during Frieze, with plans for two upcoming editions in different European capitals underway for 2016. Grid has also developed the concept of Plugin, the new media section of Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair and had run the section for its first two years. Ceren and Irmak have recently acted as the electronic music, new media and street art curators of Europalia Turkey.