IdentityLab Project was developed and carried out in Sweden and Turkey in 2016-2017, by curators Naz Cuguoglu and Susanne Ewerlöf, inviting artists Liv Strand and Can Sungu. Through artistic research-based meetings, performances, video screenings, conversations, workshops, with artists, art professionals and researchers in several locations, the IdentityLab team focused on the process rather than the outcome, and the community-building strategies to question the reciprocal relation between identity and place, to further understand how it manifests itself in the artistic practices. 

We developed an interest in how the places we live in and/or have (not) visited plays into how we become who we are. In that sense, IdentityLab consists of both real and imaginary travels, including journeys we shared and not shared, and trips we hear about from others. It is also about being, existing wherever you are with both your mind and body, and experiencing a space’s atmosphere, contributing to it, owning it (?), and acknowledging your own function within it.

We think of IdentityLab as an experimental platform based on research and thought-sharing. We have so far had the chance to address these issues with participants in Stockholm, Jokkmokk, Norrköping (Sweden), Istanbul and Batman (Turkey). It is already clear that: Everybody has different ways of relating to a space; One’s relation to a site can changeover life; An individual’s position in a community plays a part; Small towns relate to the individual in another way than a city does; And belonging can take place as a result of knowing the social rules that construct a site just as much as knowing people.

The project is formed under the context of Tandem Cultural Managers Exchange Turkey European Union, and we were able to organize the IdentityLab Sessions in Istanbul with kind support from The Swedish Institute and in close collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden, DEPO and The Galata Greek Primary School. The team had previously conducted research trips and a public seminar in Sweden, and are truly
grateful to all people encountered on the way. We were able to host the two-day seminar “Exchanging Notes Part I” in Norrköping through kind support from Iaspis – the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists and Norrköpings Konstmuseum.

IdentityLab Program in Istanbul:
Subject to Erring: A workshop for artists led by Liv Strand
Artist Talk by Katarina Pirak Sikku
Neighbor Think, performance by Liv Strand
Performance by Işıl Eğrikavuk
Outdoor performance Figure 2224 by Lisa Torell
Video Screening, Can Sungu presents his work Replaying Home
To Make Place video screening, Artists: Lisa Torell, Fikret Atay, Elmas Deniz, Ferhat Özgür, Nancy Atakan
Panel discussion with the participants
Various studio visits and meetings with artists and researchers

IdentityLab Program in Norrköping:
Workshop at Norrköping Art Museum with the participation of artists and researchers
Reading performance by Liv Strand and Marcus Doverud
Video screening by Can Sungu
Various studio visits and meetings with artists and researchers

Participants: Fikret Atay, Nancy Atakan, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Elmas Deniz, Işıl Eğrikavuk, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Liv Strand, Can Sungu, Lisa Torell, Ferhat Özgür, Silje Figenschou Toresen, Mattias Åkeson, Annika Kupiainen, Babak Salimizadeh, Marcus Doverud, Elin Magnusson, Lisa Torell, David Larsson, Erik Berggren, Bodil Axelsson

Curators: Naz Cuguoğlu and Susanne Ewerlöf

You can download the e-book of Between Places from the link below:

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