This publication examines the development of contemporary art practices in Turkey from the 1980s to the 1990s and after through texts by various writers and works of artists.

'This book which comprises the adventure of contemporary art in Turkey in the last 20 years is divided into two sections. The first section includes texts where various aspects of the period are scrutinized, followed by the second section allocated to 78 artists from four generations.

Instead of trying to capture the short history of contemporary art in Turkey in a single analytical text, the book desires to present a work with many voices. The work, User's Manual: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006, focuses both on the differences and similarities in the production practices of the artists included in the project and on their individual adventures which was created by these differences and intersections and which we think has a continuity. The book also brings together a series of artists and works which stood out at certain exhibitions where significant breakthroughs and ruptures took place and thus created a collective presentation.' - excerpt from Preface: Who Reads a User's Manual Anyway? by Halil Altindere and Sureyyya Evren

Includes a list of important exhibitions in Turkish contemporary art during this period, and links of websites and blogs of artists, initiatives and artist run spaces.

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art historyTurkey

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Chapter headings
Introduction: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006


Object Art/Conceptual Art/Post-Conceptual Art Trends in Turkey

- Nilgun OZAYTEN

Visual Art as a Field of Complication

- Beral MADRA

Weak Fictions Accelerated Destinies

- Vasif KORTUN

Contemporary Art in Turkey

- Erden KOSOVA

The Art Community in the 1990's

- Ali AKAY

The International Istanbul Biennial 1987-2007

- Marcus GRAF

Thinking 'Otherwise'


Media and Its Messages: Notes on Contemporary Art Criticism in Turkey

- Evrim ALTUG

Nationally Framed Exhibitions and Representation

- Mahmut KOYUNCU

Against All Odds

- Ferhat OZGUR

The Tormented East or 'Welcome to Diyarbakir'

- Sener OZMEN

K2 Reporting from Izmir!

- Elmas DENIZ

Digital-Minded Attempt: Detecting Digital Culture in Turkey

- Basak SENOVA

Self Initiated Collectivity, Artist Run Spaces and Artists' Collectives in Istanbul

- Pelin TAN

Current Art in Turkey 2000-2007 Determinations and Incidents...

- Aysegul SONMEZ

User's Manual: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006
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User's Manual: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006