School Square Galatasaray
On the occasion of its 150th anniversary, School Square Galatasaray offers a fresh perspective through contemporary art, to this deep-rooted school, which has hosted cultural and artistic events along with being an educational institution encouraging and supporting its students’ artistic tendencies and creativity throughout its history.
The exhibition takes on the name of “school” (mektep) in reference to the name of the institution still remembered as and called “the school” by its graduates even today, to the history of the building and its character as a place of education. This word play thus both references the Galatasaray Square with which the school is inextricably and necessarily intermeshed and envisages the structure of the Galatasaray High School with its garden and surrounding walls as an intellectual square where contemporary artists shall meet and debate. The site and context-specific works in the exhibition by the artists Elvan Alpay, biriken (Melis Tezkan, Okan Urun), Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Antonio Cosentino, Burak Delier, Hasan Deniz, Cemal Emden, Barış Göktürk, Ali Kazma and Vahit Tuna relate to the location, function, history and space of Galatasaray High School by means of painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, sound and performance. Although the graduate artists of Galatasaray High School and the reflection of their personal experiences on their artistic practices have been considered valuable, room has been made for perspectives to be brought in by artists looking upon the school, an organic part of the city for 150 years, from the square – namely, from the outside, to those peeking in while passing by, and to those who perhaps live in its vicinity and have it in their thoughts. Rather than providing an art-historical selection of sorts, the School Square Galatasaray exhibition aims to gaze into the past from the vantage point of the present and pass on new works to the future.
The exhibition catalogue presents three articles, which provides different perspectives on culture of Galatasaray. The curator of the exhibition Çelenk Bafra’s essay on the relationship between the school and the square contextualizes the works in the exhibition. Besim F. Dellaloğlu presents his thoughts about what it means to experience Galatasaray High School. Murat Alat uses his personal experience to contemplate on the idea of school and education in a more general sense.