Dirimart and Hermann Nitsch
I have to admit that Turkey has not necessarily been on my map of art destinations. As a matter of fact, Turkey is one of the few countries in Europe I have yet to visit.
All the more delighted I was when I came across Dirimart, i.e. the entity that was founded almost two decades ago by one Hazer Ozil in 2002 in Istanbul. It did not take long to discover Dirimart’s idiosyncratic approach and the DNA it has carved for itself when it comes to not only showcasing what Istanbul has to offer in the realm of art but that it has hosted a range of high profile exhibitions based on the relationships it was able to establish with critically acclaimed international artists as well as contemporary local ones.
It was through Dirimart that I was first exposed to the oeuvres of Turkish artists like Nasan Tur, Ayse Erkman, Gu?c?lu? O?ztekin, or Mustafa Kunt, which expanded my horizons significantly and placed Turkey and Dirimart specifically high on the list of must-visit destinations – especially since its new home, which was designed by architect Markus Dochantschi, with its outdoor sculpture garden looks like a great space to host art.
Having a faible for Hermann Nitsch, one of the founders of Viennese Actionism, I was intrigued to see that Dirimatr hosted him for exhibitions and released a catalogue with photographs of his ritual-like actions, i.e. Orgien Mysterien Theater – an incarnation of which I have shed light on as part of a feature on MONA’s Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania, where I was lucky enough to meet the man, his all senses engaging art and visual theatre in the flesh – in the truest sense of the word.
Another fantastic publication of Dirimart’s extensive portfolio of high quality catalogues is one dedicated to Hermann Nitsch’s painting action of Hermann Nitsch during the Contemporary Istanbul art fair in 2013, which again makes me wonder how I could have gone on so long without having had Dirimart on my radar.