Pleased to announce..., 2022

Versus Art Project, Istanbul


Versus Art Project announces the opening of the first solo exhibition “Pleased to announce…” by @freeze_magazine artist Cem A., in Istanbul, Turkey. The exhibition presents a critique of standardised language utilised by art institutions to write academically sound yet slightly incomprehensible exhibition texts. 


In the framework of “Pleased to announce…”, Cem A. invites the visitor to question the nature of the language utilised by art organisations to describe exhibitions and artworks to the public in supposedly inclusive, informative and accessible ways. A selection of “real” and fictional exhibition texts and memes created by the artist will be exhibited in the traditional white cube gallery space, giving the latter a subtle double function of an archival reading room. 


To present a collective critique of standardised institutional-grade language, the artist has invited working people in the arts specialised in curation, PR and communications to draft an exhibition text of their own under a unified prompt: to write a text generic enough to describe any contemporary art exhibition devoid of context and location. The resulting texts aim to challenge often unquestioned credibility asserted through a disguise of complex language. Visitors are encouraged to speculate and assess which texts in the exhibition belong to legitimate arts organisations and which have been ironically written for the purposes of the exhibition.


The exhibition is proud to showcase a safe space for uninhibited thought, through the radical detachment of preconceived strains of knowledge and non-consensual memento mori. Plutonian themes of mortem and virginity are highlighted as main constituents to reincarnated material and physical life, imploring us to safeguard tertiary ego progressions as biblical testaments of veridical subjective manifestation. Following the steps taken by historical radicals and triumphant luminaries, the artists vouch to devote their careers towards the active contention of imperfect perfection in attempts to redefine future socio-political and environmental archives.*


* Please ignore this paragraph.


Thank you to Ezgi Bakçay, Monroe Denton, Burcu Dimili, Jens Maier-Rothe, Andy Marsh, Mack McFarland, Anna Meinecke, Caterina Nicolini, Ayça Okay, Anna Bernice delos Reyes, Begüm Yıldırım and Hanns Lennart Wiesner for contributing to the exhibition with their writing.


Thank you to Ümit Aslanbay, Şahika Aslantürk, Sinem Başar, Reha Gündüz, Ferhan İstanbullu, Yelta Kœm, Elisabeth Nachtigal, Banu Nazlıca, Ahmet Öğüt, Sevim Sancaktar, Bensu Şimşek, Canan Ünsal and Jona Wentzler for their generous support.

(Exhibition based on this meme.)