Eda Özdoyuran: Young curator in contemporary art


"My aim is to distract art from traditional exhibition concepts and to create innovative, creative and sustainable catalyst forms," explained Eda Özdoyuran.

Born into a Swiss-Turkish family, Özdoyuran is now a well-known curator in New York. After studying art at New York University, she focused on facilitating the exhibitions of both Turkish art in New York and foreign art in Turkey.

Following her work on an exhibition by Sue De Beer, the artist of the Marianne Boesky Gallery scheduled to be featured in "The Moving Image Fair" in Turkey, Özdoyuran curated an exhibition by Hale Tenger in New York. For the exhibition, Özdoyuran worked with Protocimema, founded by freelance curator Mari Sprito. While working at fairs like Art Basel, Armory Show and Tefaf, Özdoyuran was also involved with exhibitions and events in New York's leading museums, including the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim. Later she worked on various exhibitions for the nonprofit Swiss Institute Contemporary Art and now collaborates with various galleries and on independent projects in New York.

The last exhibition she curated, "Another Man's Treasure," features artists using extraordinary materials to question the traditional concept of art. The leading names in the project include: Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, Robert Gober, Keith Haring, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince, Rudolf Stingel and Cy Twombly.

The following is an interview with the young and talented curator detailing her understanding of art and its presentation.

How does the ever-changing digitalization of the world affect art? What's your approach on the issue?

Contemporary art takes shape within the temporary and sliding nature of today's world. Today's concept of art is not permanent and concrete like it was in the past. Paintings and sculptures give their places to venue-sensitive temporary exhibitions, interactive events, software and digital art. However, this new age stream of art can neither be protected, nor can it be preserved within a frame. Instead, it is documented. While traditional art centers on creating artwork, contemporary art produces ideas.

However, for me, art is not just composed of creating work nor is curating composed of simply exhibiting those works. I think they both must include disciplines like philosophy, literature, technology, architecture and anthropology. Contemporary art shouldn't be taken as an abstract concept independent of its era. Its relation to history and culture shouldn't be ignored.

Who do you admire most in the field?Swiss curator Harold Szeeman is the foremost figures I read about and follow. As a pioneer of the foundation and progress of curatorship, he initialized a brand-new concept in art and its exhibition in the 60s. He is a curator who created conceptual installations at extraordinary venues and created new dialogues, combining artists and works from different generations.

And when it comes to you, what you want to give to the world of art?

I think that exhibitions are too short-term. They start and come to an end, and the artwork goes back to the artists or museums. I want to pioneer an increase in the sustainability and continuity of exhibitions. My aim is to steer art away from traditional exhibition concepts and to create innovative, creative and sustainable catalyst forms.

What about your favorite Turkish artists?

Ahmet Öğüt, Hale Tenger and Hera Büyüktaşçıyan are my favorite Turkish artists. Among foreigners, I admire David Hammons, Anselm Kiefer, Mona Hatoum, Franz West and Cy Twombly.

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