Salt exhibit explores art’s abilities with moving image archives

Istanbul’s Salt is presenting a new exhibition in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. “Into the Unknown,” displaying a selection from the moving image collection of the museum, will run until Aug. 14.

The exhibition focuses on the potential of art to disrupt established historical and cultural narratives and to give a room beyond the unknown and other subjectivities in the post-1989 world. It traces the tensions and contradictions between mechanisms of social power and everyday life, the established history and personal memory and regimes of truth and the unconscious.

Diane Severin Nguyen, “IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS,” 2021, 18 min. 53 sec. (Courtesy of the artist)

The exhibition features work by Diane Severin Nguyen, Nathalie Djurberg, Agnieszka Polska, Jozef Robakowski, Duncan Campbell, Deimantas Narkevicius, Shana Moulton, Jananne Al-Ani, Oleksiy Radinsky, Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska. Named after a piece that Narkevicius produced for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, “Into the Unknown” offers a social insight into the former Eastern Bloc as well as modern-day Eastern Europe.

Equipped with different forms of moving images, from experimental and narrative to fictional footage, the show is based on the idea that the documentary and archive are not fixed and objective representations of reality; they, on the contrary, are doors opening to the unknown. Therefore, the lively and changing structure of the documentary and archive comes to the forefront as a highlight of “Into the Unknown.”

Shana Moulton,

Shana Moulton, “MindPlace ThoughtStream,” 2014, 11 min. 57 sec. (Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw)

The exhibition spreads across the Forum, Winter Garden, the third and second floors of Salt Beyoğlu with works by Nguyen, Djurberg, Polska, Robakowski, Campbell, Narkevicius, Moulton, Al-Ani and Radinsky. It continues at Salt Galata with an extensive archive project, Enthusiasts Archive by Cummings and Lewandowska, celebrating the amateur underground film clubs in Poland before 1989. With a selection of 10 short and experimental films highlighting everyday life from the early 1970s until the late 80s, the archive project poses a critical perspective on idealized notions of society and art, and it expands on the archive’s public function and the question of ownership in art.

“Into the Unknown” is programmed by Salt Research and Programs Director Fatma Çolakoğlu and Chief Curator of Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Sebastian Cichocki, with Filmoteka Curator of Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Lukasz Ronduda’s advice and in collaboration with writer and editor Eda Sezgin . The exhibition’s accompanying public program will be announced at and Salt’s social media channels.

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