In istanbulberlin, there is always a space for projects that bring Istanbul and Berlin together. One of those projects in contemporary art is Zilberman Gallery, that has gallery spaces in both cities. Occupying two floors of one of the most famous examples of art nouveau architecture in Istanbul and since 2016, a turn-of-the-century building in Berlin's Charlottenburg neighborhood.
Founder of the Zilberman Gallery and art collector Moiz Zilberman has given written answers to my questions on the both cities, the projects of the gallery and the artist residency.
Cover Photo: From the current exhibition of Zilberman Berlin,Both Eyes in My Two HandsSandra del Pilar, Who am I and How Much?, 2019
Translated from Turkish by Seniha Özden.
Two Cities Where Multinationalism Embraces Originality
S: Why Istanbul and Berlin?
M: Istanbul and Berlin because both are world cities which converge, both with their socio-cultural traffic and dynamic historical experience.We are talking about two cities where multinationalism embraces originality, creativity and craft are not in competition with each other, and where disciplines can only exist and be as productive as how much as they need each other.
M: Berlin's active atmosphere of global production and consumption creates a definitive quality bar for the events that are put forward to be in this direction.In comparison, we witness the audience of Istanbul as being able to carry Turkey’s prolific art scene, and expect more than locality from a young and academic based accumulation with a high rate of competition.
S: Do you also live in these two cities? How do you keep the pulse of two different culture and arts scenes?
Zilberman Berlin Residency Program
S: Can you tell me about your residency program where you offer artists the opportunity to live and work in Berlin?
Contemporary Art Can Perpetuate the Many Values We Call Dead
S: In one of your interviews, you summarized your adventure from collecting to being in the gallery business as “Art has taken me over”. Why does contemporary art excite you?
The social, political, and ironic responses of contemporary art to the harsh conditions of the world create obvious and new values, which can cause many clogged mechanisms that we consider to be inoperative today to become almost reworkable, and perpetuate the many values we call dead.
Artists Deserve to be Embraced as Representatives of Unique Micro-Universes
S: In the interview you gave to Gazete Duvar about the effects of the pandemic, you said "I think there will be an art environment where we can focus more deeply on the local, and act with finer nuances." What is the importance of focusing on the local for you?
M: The artists we call local today, with the special worlds they belong to, deserve to be claimed as representatives of unique micro-universes.Even if each artist seems to be producing from the same point, or from a side-by-side origin at first glance, they can cause as big surprises as there are in the science of astronomy with the huge, universal differences in tone and interpretation created by being almost a millimetric distance away from each other.