The exhibition is the result of Witte de With Director Defne Ayas’s pairing of two of the most important critically engaged artists of our times; Goshka Macuga and Ahmet Öğüt. Both artists’ interests are tied to political and historical contexts, distilled through a variety of media and strategies of representation that include performance, participatory event, sculpture, film, and installation. This process has led to realizations of parallel frames of reference, such as an engagement with the work of thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, activist Angela Davis, and hacktivist Aaron Swartz.
The culmination of a lengthy period of exchange between Macuga and Öğüt, the exhibition departs from both artists' generous and playful examination of each other’s practices. Executed in two episodes - the first steered by Ahmet Öğüt (17 June – 20 August), and the second by Goshka Macuga (8 September – 31 December) - the project lays bare the pair’s attempt to formulate a methodology with which to survey their respective practices, and reflects both of their investment in what should be the basic currency in the art world today: mutual trust and artist dialogue.
Artists are often committed to reconciling the world in critical and imaginative ways and to offering new readings. What is the possible role of an artist in contemporary practice in relation to another? Given the radical potentiality offered by the two artists' engaging in activism through the practice of instituting, as exemplified in their recent work, the project stands to ignite such processes further, hopefully initiating fruitful future collaboration.