Genco Gulan
Since 2002
Works in Istanbul Turkey

Genco Gülan is a conceptual artist with an interest in new media and performance art. He studied Political Science and Art at Bogazici University then he pursued an MA degree on Media Studies at New School, New York. He got prizes from BP, New School, Lions, E.M.A.F. Nominated for the European Art prize in 2012 and got selected as a finalist. Gülan made solo shows in Istanbul, Ankara, Graz, Berlin, New York, Seoul and Zagreb. His works are presented in museums such as; Centre Pompidou, Pera, ZKM, MAM, Rio and La Triennale di Milano. He participated to festivals such as; Steirishes Herbst, Ars Electronica, Mediaterra, prog-me, Accente, Balkan Art and Istanbul Festival. His net-art pieces have been exhibited at, and His works listed in required reading lists such as; City University, New York, Rice University and U.C. Santa Barbara. Gülan gave conferences at Yale, School of Visual Arts, Köln University and New York Institute of Technology. Genco Gülan and his art has been referred to by Newsweek, Herald Tribune, NY Arts, Art in America, Art News, Das Kunst, Beaux Arts and Idomenee. His monography edited Dr. Marcus Graf is published by Revolver Berlin the title "Conceptual Colors of genco Gulan". His book "De-Constructing the Digital Revolution" is published by LAP and both of the books are available at Genco Gülan was in the Advisory Board of Balkan Biennial, Thessaloniki and International Programming Committee of ISEA Singapore. He is the founder of the Web Biennial. Currently he teaches at Mimar Sinan Academy and Bogazici University.
Discussions (14) Opportunities (13) Events (41) Jobs (0)

twin (connected)

Sat Nov 10, 2012 16:00 - Sat Nov 10, 2012

Istanbul, Turkey

According to a gossip; at the recent Marina Abramovic show at the MoMA, the performers were all secretly playing with their smart phones during their presence at the gallery...

Twin (connected) is a multilingual, multimedia performance piece by Genco Gulan that will make its premier this week at Visibility Festival in Istanbul . Connected is the new version of "the twin" series of Gulan. This time he is re-interpreting Marina Abramovic and Ulay's performances called "Relation in Time" (1977/ 2010) with an identical pair of twins; Deniz and Yeliz Çelebi.

In "Twin (connected)", the performers, literally connected to each other from their hair, hold smart phones in their hands, and also got connected to each other through (a) grand network(s). In the project, the twins will sit together motionless for two hours, while interacting with each other, and interact (indirectly) with the audience. In the project a couple of twins will be performing a single character (Ayse Ayse), to remind us of our loneliness in online communities.


Neighbourhood X_0 Artist talk

Thu Oct 18, 2012 19:10 - Thu Oct 18, 2012

Ankara, Turkey

Neighbourhood X.0 Artist talk

Genco Gülan, Jenny Marketou, Ilias Marmaras and Krassimir Terziev

18.10.2012, 19:00
Goethe Institut Ankara

This talk will be in the context of:
Neighbourhood X.0 Media Art Exhibition
27 September – 3 November 2012, Ankara

Who is my neighbour? What is neighbour? What does neighbourhood mean in the 21st century? Artists from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey seek answers
to those questions with their works exhibited in "Neighbourhood X.0" Exhibition to be held within the framework of "ArtUP!" project.

The exhibition hosting media art works such as video installations, online games, experimental documentary films and interactive videos by Can
Altay, Personal Cinema, George Drivas, Genco Gülan, Oktay İnce, Anna Lascari, Jenny Marketou, Ivan Moudov, Zeyno Pekünlü, Raycho Stanev,
Alper Şen, Krassimir Terziev and Borjana Ventzislavova, scrutinizes the theme of "Neighborhood" with observations, interpretations and images. It also aims at presenting multi dimensionality of media art works created in
Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. 13 media artists participating in the exhibition, remind us that the concept of "Neighbourhood" does not only
have positive connotations in 2012. Today, the concept of "Neighbourhood" still and again may contain wars, poverty led migration and stereotyped conception of “the Other”.
On the other hand, in the works of those artists, the global phenomenon of "Neighbourhood" of the 21st century also contains meanings different than
its classical conception. For example, systematic garbage smuggling from Switzerland to Germany or Bulgarian struggle for Troy in Mexican Pacific
Bay. And first of all, the question "Are our neighbours only people and states?"...

The exhibition will be open to visitors between 27 September - 3 November 2012 at the Goethe-Institut Ankara. However, “Neighbourhood
X.0” being a media art exhibition, will not be limited to "physical space." It can also be visited at our "virtual space" from 27 September on, i.e. at ArtUP! web platform:

Neigborhood X.0
27.09.2012 – 03.11.2012
Visiting hours (weekdays): 13:00 – 18:00

Virtual exhibition 7 days 24 hours (from 27 September):

For more information and press material please visit our website:

Sanem Yardımcı
Goethe-Institut Ankara
Atatürk Bulvarı No. 131
06640 Bakanlıklar


[Neighborhood X.0]

Thu Sep 27, 2012 19:25 - Thu Oct 11, 2012

Ankara, Turkey

[Neighborhood X.0]
An exhibition on the project ARTUP!
Media Art in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey

The exhibition [Neighborhood X.0] aims to rethink and re-evaluate common perceptions and philosophical discourses on the topics of
"neighborhood" and "hospitality" by exploring the possibilities of a new art and language of neighborhood and hospitality. For a detailed
curatorial statement, please see the end of this document.

[Neighborhood X.0] is part of the media art project ArtUP!, initiated by
the Goethe-Institutes in Ankara, Athens and Sofia. The goal of ArtUP! is to inform on the media art scenes in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey and to
initiate collaborative media art projects between the three countries.

Location of the exhibition: Goethe-Institut Ankara
Date: 27.09.2012 – 03.11.2012
Additionally, the exhibition will be shown on the project’s website ArtUP!, scheduled to go online on September 27th, 2012

Curator: Ege Berensel, Ankara (

(in alphabetical order, as by 30/08/2012)

Can Altay (Turkey)
“Foxes” / 2008 / 10‘14‘‘ / Single-Channel-Video
Can Altay's “Foxes” video is a becoming-animal, a neighborhood
investigation. Becoming-animal is not imitating an animal, nor
identifying with it. Becoming-animal is about obtaining molecular
particles from existing forms; is about establishing movement and rest,
speed and slowness relations that are getting closer as much as possible
to what's happening between those particles, and that are mediating
becoming. It is a desire process, it is producing a principle of
neighborhood. His video goes through a becoming-fox while intending to
record Foxes visiting people's living areas to find some food. This is not
video imitating fox, but inventing a metaphor. Video, with the speed of
fox's image, forms something that has to do with the fox. As a result,
the idea of neighborhood comes true which makes the utterance of
where the border lies between the animal and human impossible.

Personal Cinema (Greece)
The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game / Online Game
The Making of Balkan Wars: The Documentary, duration 79’35’’
The making of Balkan wars: The game is a Personal Cinema project
primarily focused on the social and cultural issues within the Peninsula
and on the creation of a network between artists, art critics, writers and
curators from South eastern Europe. It presents new media works
created by the 51 participating artists that investigate the Balkan
territory and way of life. In the real-time of global networks, and in
video games, the simplification of cultures and history is itself a form of
violence. The Making of Balkan Wars: The Game is intended to
counteract the sensational spectacle of war presented by the media by
deconstructing stereotypes, focusing on the distortion of identities, and
revising the dominant logic of explanation.

George Drivas (Greece)
“Empirical Data” / 2010 / 34’ / Single-Channel HD Video
“Empirical Data” is a film that deals with someone’s relationship with an
environment that is “alien” and often hostile in a sense. The script
comes from the personal experience of David Malteze, an actor of
Georgian origin who nowadays lives and works in Greece. Τhe film
reproduces on a fictional basis, his arrival as an immigrant, and his
trajectory from entering the country to taking up acting, an event that
eventually led to his professional recognition and subsequent
“integration” into the Greek society. Malteze himself plays the main

Genco Gülan (Turkey)
“Frigo” / 2008 /26’32’’, “La Mer” / 2008 / 5’50’’ / 2-Channel Video
Taken to sea in leaking boats or stowed away in airless containers,
refugees and migrants around the world risk their lives every day in
desperate attempts to find safety or a better life. 2 Videos tell us a story
of unauthorized border crossing to Bulgaria and Greece from Turkey.

Oktay İnce (Turkey)
“Behind The Mountain” / 2005 / 27’ / Double-Screen Video Installation
Timescapes/Zaman manzaraları is a product of a collective video work
and a collective video montage project which researches the non-linear
fiction possibilities with the purpose of creating new narration styles for
the documentaries and dramas through internet. “Behind the Mountain”
is edited with the common images picked up by the artists from various
countries located between Germany and Turkey along the axis of the
“old” Europe between Berlin and Ankara, the two cities which used to
regulate the political alliance strategies in Europe before the World War
I. The collective work created by Angela Melitopoulos from Cologne,
Freddy Viannelis from Athens, Dragana U. Zarevac from Belgrade and
videA from Ankara and Ege Berensel’s images will be produced. Behind
the Mountain aims at deterritorializing the images and languages
rootless and stateless on this axis.

Anna Lascari (Greece)
“Landscape – Tones” / 2005 / Video – Documentary / 05’32’’
Organized in omni-positioned vignettes, “Landscape-Tones” documents
an intersection in central Athens, Greece, where immigrants from the
Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent
congregate to socialize and conduct business in their new homeland. In
slow motion, vivid images of buses intersperse to illustrate the
transporting of dreams and desires, while the animated alphabet and
the voiceover express both the desire of those who immigrated to
Athens, and Lascari's proclivity to return to her original homeland.

Jenny Marketou (Greece)
“Looking Out Of My Window” / 2012 / Single-Channel Video
The video is comprised of a database of streaming videos, which have
been captured online from “you tube” and other social networks, using
an application that has been specially designed to randomly capture
online and to manage the videos data into a metadata of moving
images. Each streaming video features “neighborhoods” from a diverse
range of geographical locations, where the past years have witnessed a
wave of global unrest in which the architecture of violence, protests,
fear, militant and police repression, control and brutality have
transformed into “war zones”. My impulse to produce an “open form”
video without narrative is a reversal and a formal transgression to the
“control system” of military and control societies and specifically on how
demonstrations and artistic practice are not isolated nor disconnected,
but can share a similar language of resistance.

Ivan Moudov (Bulgaria)
“Abfall” / 2009 / 4-Channel Video Installation / 10‘ 53‘‘
During his six months' stay in Switzerland, Ivan Moudov started his own
waste removal business. Not unlike a garbage mafia group, his
enterprise exported household trash to Germany, contributing to the
cleanliness of Swiss territory. Moudov collected his clients' garbage bags
at their homes, loaded the bags into his car and crossed the border. On
German territory he disposed of the bags in the containers of rest areas
along the motorway and then drove back to Switzerland.
For 10 CHF per bag, Moudov’s clients not only bypassed local waste
disposal laws but also participated in an artwork.

Zeyno Pekünlü (Turkey)
“Balkan Shadows” / 2012 / One-Channel-Video / 20’’ / loop
“While traveling in Balkans I was mostly impressed by the fact that the
history of one country is always overlapping with the next one.
Independence day of the one country is probably the mourning day of
the other. The shadows of history are transparently crossing the borders
and bounding the countries in a weird way. 'Balkan Shadows' is a video
work formed by a collection of shadow pictures from Balkans.”

Alper Şen (Turkey)
“Poison in the Soil” / 2012 / Six-Channel Video Installation
Since 1985, more than 2000 civilians died and 5000 civilians were
wounded because of the landmines and free explosive materials in the
southeastern region in Turkey. Currently it is suspected that
approximately 1.000.000 landmines are still under the soil in this region.
This video installation was prepared from interviews with civil victims,
wounded from the landmines and free explosive materials in this region.
After generations, those landmines will be also evaluated as the most
visible proof of the poison against the people's coexistence in this
region, which we were supposed to be proud of.
(Camera: Alper Şen, Fethi Kahraman, Oktay İnce, Veysi Altay, Editing:
Alper Şen, artıkişler)

Raycho Stanev (Bulgaria)
“The Great Excursion” / 2009 / Interactive Installation
Interactive installation contains memories of Bulgarian Turks, hundreds
of thousands of whom were expelled from Bulgaria in 1989. A shameful,
hidden chapter of European history, almost unknown in the West, it is a
reminder of what happens when DNA, rather than our shared humanity,
is the focus of attention. The Great Excursion gives a fascinating and
disturbing insight into what happens to a community when politics takes
over from reality. Is it where you're from, or where you're at, that

Krassimir Terziev (Bulgaria)
“Battles of Troy” / 2005 / 51' / experimental documentary
“Battles of Troy” is a study on the internal economy of today’s globalized
cinema production, seen through the eyes of the lowest unit in the
hierarchy of movie making - the extras. On focus here is the Warner
Bros motion picture “Troy” (2004), and more specifically - the secret life
of the extras in the movie. The project is based on the fact that 300
men from the “specialized” extras in “Troy” are Bulgarians, who have
been flown to the Mexican coast to spend 3 months in training and
shooting massive battle scenes as background of the feats of arms of
Eric Bana and Brad Pitt.
This background is the subject of “Battles of Troy”.

Borjana Ventzislavova (Bulgaria)
“We Shall Overswim” / 2008 / 15-Channel Video Installation with 2-
Can European identity be defined? What parameters and elements
dictate our understandings of 'European identity'?
The specific questions on which the work is based are about the subject:
'at home'. What does it mean to 'feel at home'? What or where could be
'at home'? Does a geographical location or national belonging today
define 'at home'? Is it possible that identity is affected by nationality in
times of global transformation and migration processes? These issues,
seen from the perspective of the migrant, are central to this work.
15 stories and 15 languages have been re-distributed so that each one
is performed by different person and in a different language than the
accordant 'original'.


Interview with Genco Gulan 2012

The interview with with Genco Gulan is partially published at Silverkris the inflight magazine for Singapore Airlines, August 2012 issue as "bohemian rhapsody".

The tale of the Turkish city that inspired Agatha Christie to write Murder on the Orient Express can be traced to when Istanbul – which was founded as Byzantium around 660 BC – enjoyed a glorious reign as the capital of three great empires, Roman (324-395), Byzantine (395-1453) and Ottoman (1453-1923). Fortunately, Istanbul is not the type of city to rest on its laurels. In fact, it is busy reinventing itself to cater to Turkey’s young residents – half the country’s population is under the age of 29 – not to mention the Turks and foreigners who are investing in this vibrant city. In the words of awardwinning local artist Genco Gulan: “Modern Istanbul has as much dynamism as New York.”

Heidi Fuller-love: Genco can you tell me your current 'job title'?
Genco Gülan: I carry couple of professional titles, academic and not – including; “founder of the Web Biennial” - but I prefer to be called simply as an artist.

Heidi Fuller-love: Where do you live in Istanbul and why?
Genco Gülan: I live in Ortakoy, the Middle Village, with my family. We live in a renovated white wooden Ottoman kiosk right next to the Bridge that connects two continents. I cannot live without the sea. I cannot survive all the traffic without smelling the breeze.

Heidi Fuller-love: Do you believe that Istanbul is an exciting place to be at the
moment - if so, why?

Genco Gülan: Yes. Istanbul claims to be the temporary capitol of the post-post modern era. This is no typo error. Temporary, without a ‘con,’ and modernism with two ‘post’s in front of it. The world is changing rapidly and Istanbul is one of the few that really inspires this change. Today the city with the most contradictions will rule because its citizens will have to be more creative to survive.

Heidi Fuller-love: What, in your view, are the most exciting new events/activities/openings in Istanbul at the moment?
Genco Gülan: Skyscrapers, kitsch malls and Museums are blossoming like wild mushrooms on seven hills. Istanbul is more than an exotic destination, a must be place, especially for artists. Sulukule and Tarlabasi which are both areas of gentrification, attract video makers from all over the world. The city is recovering from Midnight Express. We can describe this situation as a “Reverse Renaissance” triggered by 9/11. What are the coolest/most exciting art venues/places/activities to visit in Istanbul at the moment, and why?

There are almost 20 private museums opening up. Art is flourishing in contrast to decreasing state support and unpredictable private capital. Pilot, Arter, Salt, Rampa, Pera, Artist and Plato are some of the venues where you can catch cutting edge art. Censorship is still an important issue. Conservative government, sponsors try control productions but artists keep on resisting. Artists sue Ministers and Museums sue artists but all these ‘legal’ wars bring dynamism to our creativity and an excitement.

Heidi Fuller-love: Where is your favorite place to eat out in Istanbul and why?
Genco Gülan: I love eating out at Eminonu, the old city. My favorite is fish and bread, with pickle on the side, from a boat, parked by the ports. You watch the ships change continents and listen to sea gulls tell their magical stories. After that it’s time to eat ‘baklava’ at Egypt Bazaar from Gulluoglu for desert. I got my super powers from this secret recipe.

Heidi Fuller-love: Where is your favorite place to spend an evening in Istanbul and why?
Genco Gülan: Beyoğlu and Galata are our favorite places for the evenings. My wife Yesim has a theatre company and she rehearses all the time so we have to stay close to the theater. Whenever we have foreign guests we take them to Nevizade to have traditional meze (small cold dishes like
tapas) and raki at a Roum meyhane (tavern). We used to go to Asmalimescit but now it is too crowded. When we are alone, we prefer
sushi; as much as you can eat…

Heidi Fuller-love: What is your favourite area in Istanbul and why?
Genco Gülan: I love Bebek which means ‘baby’ in English. The village has a beautiful coastline where I walk or bike for exercise. It has a beautiful park and a nice marina. There are also some very good coffee shops authentic like Bebek Kahve and contemporary like Cem Mirap’s Lucca. I often go Bebek with my lap-top, drink Turkish coffee and work all day.

Heidi Fuller-love: Do you think that your art has been influenced by the city (if so,
in what way?
Genco Gülan: Yes. As my dear friend Dr. Marcus Graf wrote; my art is as chaotic and powerful as my city. I not only gather my materials but also ideas from the narrow streets and wide shoreline. One can not only change continents but also travel in time when you take a cheap local boat ride. Thus I produce art not only for today but also for future, as one can observe in the “Future Archeology” sculpture series.

Heidi Fuller-love: Do you think that your art has influenced the city (if so, in what way?)
Genco Gülan: To re-write art history, one needs tools that have never been used before. My city gives me hints and clues about where to find them and I give back to my city its current visibility. It is a fair deal. Turkish art is becoming more popular and this boosts the economy. However bureaucrats still underestimate the role of the arts and the local production in a larger grand equation.

Heidi Fuller-love: Do you have any exciting new projects in the pipeline? Please tell
us more so that we can give plenty of information to our readers!!

Genco Gülan: This weekend, on 27th of May 2012, I am going to exhibit my “Kissing Zeppelins” a large scale aerial installation, over the Bosporus. I am going to use two commercial size Zeppelins filled with helium and they are going to fly touching nose to nose. With a similar concept, ‘Twins’, I am working on a performance proposal with real identical twin performers, to be exhibited in the
Metropolitan, New York. Last but not the least; We just launched the Web Biennial 2012 in
Athens together with Dimitris Fotiou, Daphne Dragona and Matthias Fritsch. This year the concept is “Occupy Content”, Istanbul and Berlin will cooperate with Athens to realize the one and only Web

Heidi Fuller-love: Please add any more information that you think is important/of interest.
Genco Gülan: Couple of years ago I almost came to Singapore but I could not. I was
in the International Program Committee for ISEA (Inter Society Electronic Arts) Singapore 2008 and collaborated online as one of the jurors. However I could not be able to travel and see the city. I
would love to visit Singapore soon and even make a solo exhibition at one of the art museums.


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