Concrete in Istanbul

Igor Grubić, Monument (work in progress) 2014, video still.

29 August - 26 September 2015
Reception: Friday 4 September 2015

Venue:Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center / Mimar Sinan Fine Art University, Istanbul, Turkey

Artists: Laurence Aberhart (NZ), Jananne al-Ani (IRQ/UK), Kader Attia (DEU/DZA), Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley (AUS), Aslı Çavuşoğlu (TUR), Saskia Doherty (AUS), Cevdet Erek (TUR), Mekhitar Garabedian (ARM), Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni (FRA), Igor Grubic (CRO), Carlos Irijalba (ESP), Nicholas Mangan (AUS), Rä di Martino (ITY), Ricky Maynard (AUS), Callum Morton (AUS), Tom Nicholson (AUS), Jamie North (AUS), Şener Özmen (TUR), Justin Trendall (AUS) and James Tylor (AUS). Curator: Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow

Concrete brings together 22 Australian, Turkish and International artists to explore the concrete, or the solid and its counter: change, and the malleable flow of time.

Initially developed to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, the presentation of Concrete in Istanbul comes one hundred years after the first battles at Gallipoli. Concrete considers cycles of construction and destruction, the way civilisations borrow from and build upon each other over time. Monuments and ruins are studied as sites where meaning is condensed whilst also transient, contested and re-writable. Concrete makes a special place for the gaps or absences which stand in for the missing, the experience of loss, and that which is unknown or unknowable.

Artworks in the exhibition excavate the complex histories relating to events such as the 1914 destruction of a Russian monument in Istanbul, the deep past of the site of a former weapons manufacturing plant in Guernica, Spain and the demolition of a Sydney incinerator built to echo an ancient Maya temple. Against these solid forms, the passage of time is accentuated­­ by the patterns, rhythms and return of changing seasons, the growth rings of an ancient tree, and the fossilised footstep of a dinosaur.

This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the Spanish Government through Spain Arts and Culture (; and AsialinkArts.


Concrete logos bank


Media kit (pdf)
Exhibition invitation (pdf)
Installation photography (flickr)
Exhibition essay (pdf)