Dize Kükrer - 60 Years Treffpunkt Goethe - Goethe-Institut Cyprus

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Dize Kükrer

I came across an open call by Visual Voices on social media, which offered places for artists in seminars concerning states of peace and modes of communication which would result in an exhibition at the Goethe-Institut. The seminars were held in garden bunkers of the Ledra Palace Hotel during the summer of 2020, when things were in a perpetual state of change. The series of seminars touched on subjects such as media literacy and responsibility and socially engaged art practice. There I was accompanied by friends and familiar artists, while I also had the opportunity to meet a number of artists and explore their individual approaches to art. 

The shared experience of hearing the Lebanon explosion while we were in a metal container, where the seminars were held, was a stark reminder of where we live: only a step away from mainland Middle East.

In October 2020 the artworks resulting from the seminars for artists were presented at the Goethe-Institut in an exhibition titled Crossing 24/31: I always confuse south to north, north to south.

This residency by Visual Voices provided me with the opportunity to create another sculpture titled Proposition #3, since it was my third attempt at installing an intervention in the Buffer Zone.

A year later, in October 2021, I was invited by Visual Voices with a stipend of the Goethe-Institut Cyprus to participate in statt-Lichtfest in Leipzig, Germany. It is a festival that runs parallel to Lichtfest which commemorates the Monday Demonstrations where people of the former German Democratic Republic conducted a peaceful revolution that resulted in a change in the political atmosphere. This festival took place in collaboration with the Helden Wider Willen Association, an artist-run initiative which organises a multitude of social and cultural actions involving international and local artists. I had the chance to observe and be a part of a series of performances, videos, installations, and broadly speaking, a series of social acts.

Objects of Resistance revolts against certain situations we all experience, namely the walls in our heads; Goethe-Institut and Visual Voices gave me a platform for artistic practice and research. This fieldtrip to Leipzig enabled me to re-experience some of the concepts that relate to the situation in Cyprus and re-ignited my curiosity about border conflicts around the world, a theme with numerous examples, which seems to be a common social situation with long term effects.

Cyprus has generally been my research topic for the past decade. Every now and again I find myself in the Buffer Zone and through the efforts of organisations such as the Goethe-Institut, I am reminded of the possibility for change and that progress can be made by dedicated collective acts.