Istanbul–Berlin Scholarship Holders 2019/20 (copy 1)

Nermin Er (July–December 2019) and Kerem Ozan Bayraktar (January–July 2020)

In this second iteration of the Istanbul–Berlin Scholarship tendered by the Berlin Senate, two artists have been selected for a six-month sojourn in Berlin:

A total of 90 applications were considered in the two-part selection process. The jury members in Istanbul were Ahu Antmen, Aslı Çetinkaya, Özge Ersoy, Asena Günal and Hale Tenger (for the shortlist), and in Berlin Mehtap Baydu, Philip Horst and Çağla İlk (for the finalists).

The scholarship programme of the Berlin Senate fosters cultural exchange and supports the artistic development of professional artists in the framework of the Berlin–Istanbul city partnership founded in 1989 inter alia to strengthen links with the Turkish arts scene. Sending two Istanbul artists to Berlin each year was introduced in 2018 as a new component of the partnership.

The scholarship is tendered by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe also as part of a cooperative venture between the arts associations neue Gesellschaft für bildender Kunst (nGbK) and the ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin and DEPO in Istanbul.

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar

Point of departure for Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s computer simulations, graphics, videos, texts and other artefacts is his interest in ecological, astronomical and economic systems as well as in the fictitious worlds of literature and popular culture. In addressing the nature of systems he exposes recurrent patterns in industrial processes – in mass production and architectural infrastructures, for example – as well as myths of (un)inhabitable planets. He thereby pursues questions of life and death and their interconnectedness with material and cultural layers, exploring them from a holistic perspective, without distinguishing between human and non-human beings, life and non-life, or the virtual and the real. 

In Berlin, Bayraktar intends to continue his research into ruderal species growing wild in the city. Such plants can rapidly adapt to their urban environment and grow wherever there is ›disruption‹, in the ecological sense of the word. Bayraktar shares his notes on weeds, urban sociology and botany on his website and his Instagram account: www.sokakotlari.com      @sokak_otlari

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar (*1984) studied painting at the Marmara University in Istanbul and at the University of Newcastle (UK). His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at Sanatorium Istanbul (2018), Schwules Museum Berlin (2017) and Istanbul Modern (2016). In 2016 Bayraktar was awarded a scholarship for a Trélex Art Residency in Trélex, Switzerland.


Nermin Er

Nature is the major focus in the sculptural projects and animated films of artist Nermin Er, both its changing condition and its interaction with inhabitants of the animal and human variety. She is interested in the individual’s relation to the city, the concept of habitat, and how architecture influences everyday life. A core element in Nermin Er’s artistic trajectory is the use of light and shadow. Since 2017 she has worked increasingly on art in public spaces, sonic experiments and sound installations.

For her Berlin sojourn, Er is planning an intensive investigation of the migratory birds that fly southwards for the winter via Turkey. The birds serve her as a metaphor for obligatory migration from a familiar setting owing to changes in the environment, such as many people now experience as a daily reality.

Nermin Er was born in Istanbul in 1972. She graduated in Sculpture from the Mimar Sinan University in 1995. Nermin Er’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, inter alia at Galeri Nev (Istanbul, 2004, 2009, 2011), mental:KLİNİK (Istanbul, 2002), Aksanat (Istanbul, 2004), K2 (Izmir, 2005), Siemens Sanat Galerisi (Istanbul, 2005), Helene Nyborg Contemporary (Copenhagen 2006), Istanbul Modern (Istanbul, 2013) Cappadox (Cappadocia, 2017), Yanköşe (Istanbul, 2017) and Müze Evliyagil (Ankara, 2018).


Press contact nGbK: Benita Piechaczek, presse@ngbk.de, +49 (0)30 – 616 513 13