By Jo Phillips

Performistanbul is the first international platform in Turkey to unite performance artists together and to promote their participation in new projects. It was founded by ballet critic Simge Burhanoğlu in 2015 and was established to support performance artists and to reach more audience to experience challenging and creative performance work. A number of national and international artists have the opportunity to introduce their new works in Istanbul’s most famous venues.

The contemporary performances include a wide range that consists of sculptural elements, movement, video, image, text and spoken word. The biggest aim of “Performistanbul” is to enable artists to focus on their artistic production and to establish international relations with different institutions to create a creative working environment in this field. Furthermore, the project also wants to create sustained public engagement and support the growth of performance art in Turkey to ensure its legacy. “Performistanbul” and the institutions and foundations it collaborates with, aim to bring creative ideas to life through finding suitable venues for different projects. The founder of “Performistanbul”, Simge Burhanoğlu, says that the platform wants to establish partnerships with the leading institutions and venues worldwide and bring performance art to a more diverse audience. This year’s artists’ include AslieMk (duo project of Aslı Dinç and Mustafa Kemal Yurttaş), Ali İsmail Doğruel, Batu Bozoğlu, Christina Ghinassi, Ebru Sargın, Ekin Bernay, Gülhatun Yıldırım and Suzan D. Polat. Here are a few previews of the artists participating:

AslieMk: A performance duo project of Aslı Dinç and Mustafa Kemal Yurttaş. They explore the nature of duality in things such as psychogeography, cosmic, ghostly-becoming, and schizo-creative and they use technics including new media, video, photography, and audio installations.

İ. Ata Doğruel: The performance artist focuses on abstraction and endurance concepts in his works and he tries to push his physical and mental limits through long-lasting performances. He aims to generate questions about himself,  nature, and the universe in connection to his search of meaning in his performance art.


Batu Bozoğlu: His performances are all about the politics of participation and authorship in interactive artworks and he aims to investigate the distinctions between the artists and the audience. His artworks are made to challenge the roles of all parties involved in the performance process.

Ebru Sargın: The performance artist focuses her works on diverse lifestyles, the alienation that people face, and the modern development. Her aim is to unfold questions about today through her performances.

Ekin Bernay: The overall theme of her performances is seeking the truth through existential questions about the present. Her works aim to be as honest as possible and are inspired by her life, heart, suffering, and pain.

Gülhatun Yıldırım: An artist who creates performances in public and private places by exploring the relationship between body and image, space and object. He even collaborated with established international performance artists such as Nezaket Ekici.


Suzan D. Polat: The dance-based performance artist focuses her work on developing her own movement idiom and exploring the dynamics between form, energy, and materiality of the body. Her works investigate various ways of framing the relationship between the exhibited body of the performer and the beholding bodies of the visitors.


More information on “Performistanbul” can be found here.

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