Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Bülent Sangar, TR

Bülent Sangar is an artist who makes photography-based installations. The works fall into roughly two categories; the first, distanced images and recomposed scenes of the strangely organised megalopolis of Istanbul, and the second, tableaux vivants where he uses himself, his partner, and his family in serial images. The employment of the intimate, the private and the familial is ambiguous. The figures migrate between their roles even within a given series to imply associative meanings; a man, a son, the artist the son, Bülent Sangar the son, and so forth … In subjecting his nearest and dearest to soft fictions of domestic/public and sporadic violence and melodramas, Sangar circumnavigates between brutality and hospitality, victim and perpetrator, force and tenderness, the lie and the truth, the ideal and the actual. The works are based on distillations from sensationalist media; keen observations of local traditions transformed and reinvented in new urban spaces; and the never-ending tension between the private and the public. This tension lies not only between intimate and social spaces, but also in how those are regulated in Muslim and secular traditions that remain radically opposed. The gap between the home and the street, hence the difference between Bülent Sangar's works done in interiors and the city images, is doubled by the fact that the people living in apartments have short histories in the cities, and produce a bizarre urbanism where the street is a no man's land. As for the interiors, the home becomes a radicalised container held together by inherited and internalised tradition.