Anıl Mert Özsoy/ DUVAR
Paintings of artist Serkan Bayer were found obscene and excluded from the Modern Turkish Art Exhibition in The Hague by the Independent Art Foundation.
Bayer’s portfolio he prepared for the exhibit had been sent to and approved by the Independent Art Foundation when he received a call from the curator, Ahmet Özel.
Özel told Bayer that the Independent Art Foundation had found his work to be obscene and that the paintings wouldn’t be transported to the Netherlands.
The gallery space had already announced the names of the participating artists, including Bayer, to the public when the Independent Art Foundation revoked their invitation.
The Independent Art Foundation didn’t respond to inquiries about the issue.
Sponsored by institutions like Turkish Airlines and the Yunus Emre Foundation, the exhibit will be held in the 173-years-old Pulchri Studio Gallery between April 4 and April 27.
Bayer released a statement in response to the censorship, titled “Vagina censorship in contemporary art.”
He said in the statement that he was sharing the pain of censorship, felt by many before him including Van Gogh and Picasso, adding that he had never been censored this way in his 20 years as an artist.
“Where we see the purest state of existence, the administrators of Independent Art Foundation saw vaginas. On the platform that we painted the capuchine of wisdom what they saw was just a nuance of black,” said Bayer.
“I don’t know how an important institute of contemporary art like Pulchri Studio will respond to censorship. However I am sure that whatever you say, as said Galileo ‘and yet the world moves,'” Bayer added.
The ‘obscene’ works