Panel: DON’T HATE THE BUSINESS: BECOME THE BUSINESS!
When Wen Jiabao visited Turkey in October 2010 (the first Chinese premier to do so) a bilateral agreement to triple trade to $50bn within five years was the most significant outcome. Also in October Turkish newspapers reported that Chinese warplanes took part in a military training exercise at an airbase in central Turkey, in what is a first involving China and a Nato member country. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Turkey has been positioning itself to boost economic and trade relations across the region as well as globally. The cultural discourses encouraged in Turkey today should be seen as part of the central plank of the Turkish foreign policy: economic development and culture as part of a package of trade and investment portfolio. As state funding for the arts in Turkey hardly exists and what there is has historically been understood in nationalist, heritage and tourism terms, my presentation will contextualise the business arm of the arts and the almost exclusive private patronage that is the contemporary arts in Turkey today.
- Maya Balcioglu was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1955, and arrived in London, UK, in 1977. She studied at Brighton (because it was by the sea) and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, supporting her own education by working in factories, night shifts and catering jobs. She collaborated with Stuart Brisley on The Cenotaph Project (1987-1991) and edited the publication for this project. Decided to mirror a business and set up a shop as an experimental space and a proposal to test ideas in public with an immediate and unambiguous risk element. This space was established within the commercial paradigm, failure was real and meant serious losses. It had a core identity established by presenting certain ‘goods’, other than that it had no ambitions as a business and its purpose was kept deliberately unclear. The flexibility of the speculation proved to be a light footed success. The “shop” was voted as one of the best 50 in the world. At the height of its success the business was no longer relevant. It became a model for others to follow, and therefore was closed. Maya Balcioglu is part of the curatorial team of the Museum of Ordure.