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Ahmet Öğüt

Collaborative lecture performance
17–22 August 2020

Ahmet Ögüt, The Drifters
The Drifters, 2018, an ’80s Toyota Land Cruiser balanced on two wheels, commissioned by Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan

Lecture performance, artist talk


Teaching language
English (the teacher also speaks Turkish)

What to bring
For example laptop, camera, material from your own archives, pens, markers, large blank paper, inspiring books, films, sound recordings, etc.

Willingness to work in groups of four.

Maximum number of participants

Yelta Köm

This course deals with artistic resources and developing new democratic models. At the end of the week, participants will present these in lecture performances or artist talks, inviting discussion. We will begin with a strategic diagram for a non-hierarchical, participatory, radical democracy. We will talk about the main issues in our respective practices, discussing and refining them. “We”, in this context, includes the most diverse mediators: curators, artists, cultural producers, activists, revolutionaries, ontological anarchists, social scientists and many more – anyone, in short, who is thinking about the possibilities of transforming the system.

I will present my own artistic practice, and explain the diagram I have been working on since 2011. We will look at examples of artworks and other references, then think together, from a critical perspective, about the diagram, which can serve as a practice board for an exchange of critical ideas. Subsequently, participants will work together in small groups to re-make the diagram with their own ideas, strategies and references from art, literature, social movements or political theories. At the end of the course, the groups will present their diagrams in the form of lecture performances or artist talks. Throughout the course, I will hold group and one-on-one meetings with the participants, to offer advice and support on form and content.

Link to the diagram:

Presentations and meeting among the participants will be performed online, combined with the possibility of working together if some of the participants happen to be in the same city.
Ahmet Öğüt, born in Silvan, Diyarbakır (TR) in 1981, lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. His work often deals with migration, but at its most compelling refuses to simply illustrate migrants’ experiences. A case in point is The Silent University, an education platform – outside the restrictions of migration laws, language limitations and other bureaucratic obstacles– which Öğüt co-initiated in cities across Europe. Each school is run by its participants, and provides a collective teaching and learning site for people whose qualifications are not accepted in the country in which they are applying for residency or asylum.

Öğüt’s gallery installations interrogate ways in which governments oppress marginalised individuals on a systemic level. As a writer, Öğüt is a regular contributor to various platforms, where he questions the functions of art and speculative design in neoliberal economies. Always, his focus is on broadening the definitions of aesthetic and political engagement, while criticising – with uplifting humour – both the perils of nationalism and the dangers of global thinking. (see: interview with Harry Burke, King Kong Magazine, 2019)

Solo exhibitions (recent)
2019 The Missing T, Merdiven Art Space, Istanbul (TR). Happy Together: Collaborators Collaborating, La Galerie de l’Université du Québec en Outaouais (GUQO), Québec (CA). 2018 Bakunin’s Barricade, Kunstverein Dresden, Dresden (DE). 2017 Hotel Résistance, KOW, Berlin. Ahmet Öğüt, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen. Goshka Macuga & Ahmet Öğüt, Witte de With, Rotterdam (NL).

Group exhibitions (recent)
2019 All that We Have in Common, MOMus, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (GR). YOU ARE, Göteborgs konstmuseum, Gothenburg (SE). Zero Gravity, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul. Take My Money/Take My Body, LACE, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (US). 2018 Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2018, Niigata Prefecture ( JP). Seen, Wei-Ling Contemporary, Kuala Lumpur. Floating Utopias, neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK), Berlin. The Street. Where the World Is Made, MAXXI, Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome.
Ahmet Ögüt, portrait
Portrait photo: Mira Turba