Exhibition

Akbank 41st Contemporary Artists Prize Exhibition

Exhibition
Akbank 41st Contemporary Artists Prize Exhibition

Akbank 41st Contemporary Artists Prize Exhibition, organized in cooperation with the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association and Akbank Sanat, in order to support developments in the field of contemporary art and support young artists, will be held at Akbank Sanat between 14 September - 11 November 2023. The works of 19 artists selected as a result of the evaluations of the jury members, will be on display for art enthusiasts to enjoy.

Artists
Nazif Can Akçalı, Melike Şevval Akın, Cemil Arslan, Şener Yılmaz Aslan, Mustafa Yasin Aydoğan, Nur Bardakçı, Uğur Bişirici, Ahmet Dündar, Hüseyin Güler, Şeyma Güzelaydın, Yazı Ece Köz, Can Memişoğulları, Nazan Özaras, Okay Özkan, Monica Papi, Defne Parman, Fatih Umdu, Deniz Varlı, Ece Yazıcıgil

Curator
Ferhat Özgür

Jury Members
Derya Bigalı
Hakan Çarmıklı
Cevdet Erek
Gönül Nuhoğlu
Ferhat Özgür


CONATUS

“Conatus”, a concept developed by Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) in the third book of his “Ethica”, completed in the mid-17th century, points towards several aspects. Originally related to self-preservation, persisting, and strengthening of one’s existence, as well as actions that direct us towards functionality, Conatus indicates one’s persistence and effort to exist and survive in the best way possible, along with an ethics of self-realization. Conatus is a principle that governs one’s drives, inclinations, and emotional life, requiring one to relinquish certain behaviors to achieve freedom and happiness. “I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them”, said Spinoza in “Tractatus Politicus” (1677). According to him, beings can thrive to the extent of their creativity. The more a being strives for existence, the stronger its desire to survive. Conatus is thus a concept which lies at the heart of all these endeavors, highlighting the effort put into fulfilling any action, as well as rigor, constant work, and creativity. It encompasses mental autonomy and an eternal flow. Conatus is a shield protecting our existence from external impacts throughout the ups and downs of our lives; it appears as the hope without which we cannot survive.

Isn’t art a form of Conatus inasmuch as it involves holding onto life? The exhibition “Contemporary Artists” ponders the relationship between art and philosophy, paying homage to Spinoza, one of the most radical philosophers in the history of thought. It does so by considering art- an indispensable part of life- as Conatus. The exhibition invites artists to develop their subjective interpretations of this approach.

Ferhat Özgür

Curator


References

Alev AKSÜNGER, Mevlüt ALBAYRAK, “Spinoza Felsefesinde “Conatus” Kavramı”, https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/2048428

Berk Utkan Atbakan, “Spinoza’da Modus ve Conatus Kavramları Bağlamında Sevinç ve Kader Sorunu”, Istanbul University Institute of Social Science, Department of Philosophy, (Unpublished Master’s Thesis), 2012

Gilles Deleuze, “Spinoza: Pratik Felsefe”, (Çev.Ulus Baker), Norgunk Editorial, Istanbul, 2005.

Steven Nadler, “Spinoza: Bir Yaşam”, (Translated by Anıl Duman-Murat Başekim), İletişim Editorial, Istanbul, 2008.


14 September - 11 November 2023

Akbank Sanat

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