Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today one of the world's most sought-after suspects of war crimes, Ratko Mladic, was arrested. He is being transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague at the moment. Europe celebrates but not all of the people of Serbia are all that happy.

Last month prominent Dutch lawyer and professor of international law Geert-Jan Knoops published a book titled Blufpoker. The title suggests that international law can be compared to a game of poker, a dark and murky game. International Law is determined by geo-political and economical interests and a western point of view more then by the seeking of plain justice he claims.

Seen in the light of recent events in North Africa and the Middle East as well, one country's freedom fighter can easily become another man's terrorist.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Big Biedermeier Brother

As the Napoleonic wars left Europe in political disorder the Congress of Vienna drew plans for political restoration of Europe (in effect between 1815 and 1848). As a consequence public life was highly controlled by censorship prompting people to concentrate on the domestic and the non-political. Aestheticly the glorious and militaristic Empire Style made way for a domestic and bourgeois (floral) style, later named Biedemeier, ironically after the pseudonyme of a parodist of the time.

In 1948 George Orwell penned down his fears for a controlled society. Partly because of Orwell's warnings in the year 1984 it was still unthinkable that daily life would be monitored 24 hours a day. Meanwhile nobody takes any notice of CCTV and video surveillance anymore, accepting computer monitoring, biometric identification archives and GPS-tracking as a fact of life.

In Burçak Bingöl's series of sculptures titled Günebakan [F(ol)lower] closed circuit surveilance cameras are recreated as ceramic ornaments with floral decorations. They depict nicely the comatose bourgeois acceptance of 'Big Brother'-society.

Burçak Bingöl, 'Günebakan [F(ol)lower] III' (2011)

Burçak Bingöl, 'Günebakan [F(ol)lower] II' (2011)

Burçak Bingöl, 'Günebakan [F(ol)lower] I' (2011)

Showing until 14/06/2011 at Cda Projects in Istanbul.