Banu Cennetoğlu

29 Jun 2018 – 26 Aug 2018

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Chisenhale Gallery

London, United Kingdom


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  • Mile End / Bethnal Green
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Chisenhale Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in a UK institution and a major new commission by Istanbul-based artist Banu Cennetoğlu.


Cennetoğlu’s work incorporates methods of mapping, collecting and archiving in order to question and challenge the politics of memory, as well as the distribution and consumption of information. For her commission at Chisenhale Gallery, Cennetoğlu has produced a new moving image installation presented in the gallery’s exhibition hall.

The new multi-titled moving image work maps Cennetoğlu’s archive of digital images and videos sourced from various devices, including her mobile phones, computers, cameras and external hard drives. Starting on 10 June 2006 and ending on 21 March 2018, the work presents a continuous stream of unedited content, ordered in a chronological format. The work is 128 hours and 22 minutes in duration, and each day the gallery is open a new 6 hour-long file is presented.

The work traces over a decade of personal, social and political change from the banality of life’s small moments, to the birth of Cennetoğlu’s daughter, to documentation of her artistic practice, to numerous protests, ceremonies and cemeteries. In presenting an accumulation of digital content sourced over the past ten years, the work also documents changes in image production and circulation.

In conjunction with her installation at the gallery Cennetoğlu also facilitated the distribution of The List in The Guardian newspaper, in print and online on 20 June 2018, World Refugee Day. Compiled and updated each year by UNITED for Intercultural Action, an anti-discrimination network of 550 organisations in 48 countries, The List traces information relating to the deaths of 34,361 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives within, or on the borders of Europe since 1993 (documented as of 5 May 2018). Since 2007, in collaboration with art workers and institutions, Cennetoğlu has facilitated updated versions of The List using public spaces such as billboards, transport networks and newspapers. This edition of The List is produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Liverpool Biennial.

Produced in parallel with one another, both Cennetoğlu’s sustained facilitation of The List and her artwork presented at Chisenhale Gallery, examine intimate and shared experiences of life and death and the responsibility inherent in recording these experiences. Made in response to The List’s attempt to record profound loss Cennetoğlu’s new moving image work inverts attention to her own subjectivity and to the impossibility of complete categorisation of one’s own, and others’, lives. Cennetoğlu’s commission at Chisenhale Gallery invites audiences to consider their own relationship to memory, loss, ownership and belonging.

Cennetoğlu’s exhibition continues Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018, which includes major new commissions by artists Lydia Ourahmane, Paul Maheke and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Through her work, Cennetoğlu raises complex questions concerning the effects of geographic borders on bodies and how systems of governance influence everyday experience, themes that recur throughout Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018. As part of the commissioning process, discursive events are programmed in collaboration with each artist, and contribute to the organisation’s Engagement Programme of public talks and events held at the gallery and offsite.

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Banu Cennetoğlu


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