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Genco Gulan

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Genco Gulan
Self-portrait with 4 eyes. Oil on Canvas. Pekin Collection.
Born (1969-01-13) 13 January 1969 (age 55)
EducationThe New School,
Known forContemporary Art, Painting, Sculpture,
MovementIdea art, Post Dada

Genco Gülan (Turkish pronunciation: [dʒendʒo ˈɟylan], born 13 January 1969) is a contemporary conceptual artist and theorist, who lives and works in Istanbul. His transmedia contextual work involves painting, found objects, new media, drawings, sculpture, photography, performance and video.[1]

Gülan studied Media at The New School, New York.[2] His art has appeared at Pera Museum, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, ZKM Karlsruhe, Triennale di Milano, Biennial of Tehran and Pompidou Center Paris. Gulan has had solo shows at Gallery Artist in Berlin, Istanbul; State Painting and Sculpture Museums in Ankara, Izmir; Foto Gallery Lang, Zagreb and Artda Gallery, Seoul among other places.


Twin Project, 2011. Performance by twin sisters; Yeliz and Deniz Çelebi.

Gülan uses text, codes and even his own DNA in his art. He is a new media artist.[3] In a video piece called Tele-rugby, he filmed a female swim team playing rugby underwater with a TV monitor.[4]

His experimental works[5] include net-art, web art, AI generated images, Robot Games, SCIgen papers and online videos.[6] Genco uses boron in his sculptures.[7]


The Android Statue was exhibited in Antalya Archeology Museum 12–20 March 2014. In the exhibition, the sketches of his kinetic marble statue series, called "Robotic Statues" were also presented. Gülan has been working on robots in the labs of different universities since the middle of 1990s. He uses hardware and software of robots in many art projects. For example, the artwork titled Robots, Football and War (RFW) of Gülan that consists of physical robots, was part of a computer game "Balkan Wars" that won a prize from European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück in 1995. His play generated by artificial intelligence (AI) robots was used in the project YEN! (New), presented in Pera Museum, for 16th Istanbul Theatre Festival.[8]

Swimming Rocks, Çeşme, Alaçatı

Gülan's The Great Conjugation, was exhibited at his alma mater, Boğaziçi University's Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences building, Washburn Hall through May and June 2014. Gülan's The Great Conjugation used approximately 1000 ties for this installation. All of the connected ties created a route tens of meters long and the line flowed through the all five floors of the building. The ties connected the twin towers of the building from the inside which was built in 1906. During the exhibition, Gülan invited the viewers to bring their ties and add them to the installation. The ties used in the project have different colors, designs, and brands. They were gathered from hundreds of domestic and abroad donators. The same ties were exhibited in The Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art and Ankara Contemporary Art Center in 2013. At the first display in Istanbul, they were attached with a crane to a skyscraper and raised 160 meters from the ground. Genco Gülan was selected as a finalist at Sovereign Art Foundation European Art Prize in 2011. He opened his first exhibition at White Saloon inside the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences building where he had also taken many courses while he was studying at the Department of Political Science and International Relations between 1987 and 1991.[9]

Karate, 2014, 25×20×20 cm

A show named Swimming Rocks was in an exhibit of the same name on 27 June 2014 at the Art Gallery of Kırmızı Ardıç Kuşu, Gallery Metazori in Çeşme, Alaçatı where Gülan spent most of his childhood. The "swimming rocks" in question are pumice rocks which can float on the sea and which are found in the Aegean Sea, especially in Çeşme and Alaçatı. Gülan made Swimming Rocks from these and other stones. The artworks of his mother, Tezer Gülan, and his grandmother, Saime İzmiroğlu were also exhibited in the show. Genco Gülan also had a series called New Landscape in this exhibition. This series, a conceptual/electronic interpretation of landscapes as barcodes, examined how landscapes change over time. Gülan also exhibited his series Digital Ghost in the show, painting images from his laptop on large canvases.[10]


As an art project in 1997, Genco Gülan established the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum.[11]

"At first the Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum developed as an art series in the manner of Duchamp and Broodthaers until the end of the 1990s. Later it evolved when it was transferred to the Internet. It turned into a new age institution that organized exhibitions, workshops and provided logistic support on cyber space."[12]

For almost a decade, the museum ran a residency program called "I live in a Museum" and hosted artists from the U.S., the Netherlands, Spain, and China at its Galata location.[13]

Gülan's monograph; "Conceptual Colors" edited by Marcus Graf, is co-published by Revolver Publishing in Berlin in collaboration with Artist Istanbul. His books are available at libraries such as the German National Library, SALT Istanbul, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library and the Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University. Gülan founded the Web Biennial[14] at the turn of the century, served on the Board of Balkan Biennial in Thessaloniki, International Programming Committee of ISEA Singapore in 2008 and was a guest editor for Second Nature: International Journal of Creative Media. He was in the jury for Turgut Pura Art Prize in Izmir and teaches at Mimar Sinan Academy and Boğaziçi University.

Selected images[edit]


  1. ^ Foroohar, Rana and Matthews, Owen. (28 August 2005). Turkish Delight. Newsweek. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  2. ^ Weshinskey, Anne. (25 August 2011) With Fish or Without. Lab Kultur. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. ^ .Vito Campanelli e Danilo Capasso (a cura di), Cultura e nuovi media. Cinque interrogativi di Lev Manovich, Edizioni MAO, Napoli, 2011. ISBN 978-88-95869-00-1
  4. ^ Atakan, Nancy (Spring 2006)FROM NEW MEDIA FROM THE PERIPHERY Archived 1 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Journal of the New Media Caucus. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  5. ^ Reil, Alexandra. (25 August 2011) Art Following the Trend?. Archived 11 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 5 June 2012
  6. ^ Landi, Ann (1 September 2009)What they see in Van Gogh's ear. ARTnews. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  7. ^ Utku, Ahsen (23 April 2011)Genco Gulan sends messages to the future through art Archived 25 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Today's Zaman. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  8. ^ RHIZOME: The Android Statue, Genco Gulan. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  9. ^ RHIZOME: The Great Conjugation, Genco Gulan. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  10. ^ ALAÇATI KIRMIZI ARDIÇ GALERİ Archived 26 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  11. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra. (13 June 2006) Istanbul set to stamp its culture credentials - Arts & Leisure. The New York Times (International Herald Tribune). Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  12. ^ Graf, Marcus. Conceptual Colors of Genco Gulan, Revolver Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-3868952049
  13. ^ Lubelski, Abraham. (22 December 2006) Contemporary Istanbul Archived 11 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine Art Fairs International. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  14. ^ Lev, Julia. (27 January 2011) Plato's new exhibition brings net-art to the fore Archived 12 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Today's Zaman. Retrieved 6 June 2012.


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