Video (colour, sound), duration: 8:25 minutes
Halil Altindere (b. 1971, Mardin, Turkey) lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey.
Halil Altindere’s works depict marginalization within society and resist systems of oppression. He has been a central figure in the Turkish contemporary art world since the mid-1990s, not only as an artist but also as the publisher of art-ist Magazine and as a prominent curator.
Wonderland, exhibited at LB01, documents the anger, resistance, and hope voiced by a group of youths from the Sulukule neighborhood of Istanbul that has been the home of Roma communities for the past six centuries. This historic area started to be demolished in 2006 as part of an “urban renewal” development project. Despite the prosperity promised by the Housing Development Administration, apartments built in place of the demolished neighborhood have ended up serving nothing more than social inequality, poverty, and infrastructural problems. The deep-rooted lifestyle shaped with music and dance of the people of Sulukule faces oppression and irreversible corrosion. Presented in the style of a music video by the hip-hop group Tahribad-ı -syan, Wonderland captures how one subculture, hip-hop, can flourish and live within another culture, Roma. The band raps about inequality and gentrification while simultaneously being confronted by the police.
Since his inaugural participation in the 5th Istanbul Biennial in 1997, Altındere’s work has been presented internationally, ranging from MoMA in New York to Gwangju, Berlin and Sharjah Biennials, and at museums such as Centre Pompidou and Moderna Museet.
Special thanks: Pilot Gallery, Istanbul