The exhibition is the result of an ongoing research and work that began with drawings and sketches in 2002. Ankaç has been questioning the relations between identity politics and the mechanisms of systematic collective memory (re)constructing processes by navigating through the apparatus of war, cultural objects and a set of values and definitions that have been imposed by different governing power nodes. In this respect, with the extensive accumulation of works, Kemal Ankaç focuses on the notion of “cultural massacre” in Cyprus with the brutal governance of nationalism and fascism that was nurtured by imperialism.
Deriving from his personal stories and accounts, he makes visual statements that work with symbolism and paradoxical situations, which have been normalised in the un-resting political situations, including the prolonged cease-fire status for the last 41 years. By incorporating objects of war and daily life, his installations suggest a resistance against nationalism and fascism.
KÜLTÜRKIRIM (CULTURAL MASSACRE) embraces installations, prints, objects and drawings. Furthermore, the exhibition is accompanied with a specifically designed library and a reading room, covering the recent history of Cyprus and the affiliated sketches of the artist, including a video-interview made expressly for the exhibition.
A bilingual book, edited by Basak Senova and published by Art Rooms, will be launched during the opening of the exhibition. The book gathers Ankaç’s works, research, discussions and ideas, accompanied by critical reflections by authors such as Jenan Selçuk, Stephanie Bailey, R. Halluma, Oya Silbery and Basak Senova.