LECTURE: Pragmatism, the Ottoman New School (Yeni Mektep), and what art has got to do with it

04 April 2018 19:00 to 21:00 | Ankara

The British Institute at Ankara, Tahran caddesi 24, 06700

A BIAA lecture by Martina Becker (Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan)

Discussants: Funda Susamoğlu, artist (Hacettepe University) & Onur Yıldız, PhD (SALT)

Summary of lecture: The reform of art education at the Teachers’ Training College in Istanbul in 1909 introduced a quite novel approach to art. It shifted the primary artistic concern away from the finished object towards the creative act. This lecture traces the philosophical underpinnings of this process-oriented concept of art through the work of its main promoters, the educationalists Satı‘ al-Husri (1880–1969) and İsmail Hakkı Baltacıoğlu (1887–1978). It analyses their engagement with Progressive Education and Pragmatism, as well as the unexpected role of contemporary object-centered interpretations of Islamic art in the development of these international movements.

Martina Becker is Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan. She teaches Islamic art history and works on objecthood and process in modern Islamic art, Islamic art historiography, and art education in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.



Funda Susamoğlu studied ceramics at Hacettepe University Fine Arts Faculty. With a Postgraduate Research Scholarship, worked as an artist in residence at Hungary Kecskemet International Ceramic Studio in 2003. Studied at Cardiff School of Art and Design for a year in 2008. Completed her Art in Proficiency study “Focusing on the Process in the Act of Making Art” at Hacettepe University Department of Ceramics in 2010 and still working as an academic there. Had three solo exhibitions; HARDWORK (2010, METU, Ankara), LAND (2013, CDA Projects, İstanbul), PARCEL (2016, Tilki, Ankara) and contributed in many national and international exhibitions. www.fundasusam.com

Onur Yildiz is the Senior Public Programmer of SALT. He has obtained a PhD degree in Political Theory from University of Essex, UK. His research interests focuses on radical theory, democratic politics, populism and political uses of art. He is currently engaged with a research on the Gazi Institute of Education and the politics of education in the early-Republican period.

For more information on the event call 312 2475327 / biaa.events@biaatr.org

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