Curated by Emre Baykal, Arter, Istanbul. January 2022 - April 2023
Drawn from the Arter Collection, the group exhibition ThisPlay revolves around the concepts of childhood and play. The exhibition aims to explore the liberating aspect of play, its defiant capacity to suspend and reconstruct reality, and the ways it transcends the humdrum of daily life to create unique systems and structures of meaning of its own, within the context of artworks, and the experiences they offer. Approaching art both as a maker and breaker of play through concepts such as competition, tension, chance, imitation, ritual, magic, trance, and pleasure, ThisPlay opens up space for both adults and children to indulge in a play where there is no winner, or everyone wins.
Throughout the exhibition, the journey of play and related concepts, starting with their inception in the imagination of the artists until their manifestation in the form of a completed artwork, is accompanied by different ways of thinking, interpretation, and alternative production processes.
Changing the rules of the game with their unusual forms and sizes, unexpected encounters and surprising ways of forming relationships, some of the works featured in the exhibition convey the idea of play itself and its tools to the context of art, and act as intermediaries for new meanings, propositions, and questions. Other works that are presented in ThisPlay highlight the methods, attitudes and approaches of the design and production processes of art by putting forth its similarities with the nature of play that defies the daily flow of life and welcomes chance, ambiguity and chaos while creating its own language and order.
Taking place in Arter’s first and second floor galleries, the exhibition also interprets, through playful interventions, the architecture of the spaces occupied by the artworks. By attempting to open a door that swings both ways, ThisPlay aspires to bridge the worlds, oscillating between reality and fantasy, of a child who takes dreaming seriously and a grown-up who never gives up playing.
Exhibition View (2022)