09.01.2020 – 15.02.2020
Merdiven Art Space welcomes the new year with Fatih Temiz’s solo exhibition titled “Cannon.” Having become popular after participating in the projects and events such as Base Istanbul and Simbart project, introducing early-career artists to the spectators, Temiz focuses on football’s relationship with globalization, neo-imperialism and social resistance. The exhibition, referring to a sports term with its title “Cannon,” examines the chaotic development regarding the fact that complicated equilibrium and power struggles are centralized like it was 100 years ago, over the international football practice.
Fatih Temiz, offering an insight into the historical background of “General Harrington Cup,” invites the spectators to discover the political background of football, indicating a symbolic authority since the day it began to be played. General Charles Harrington, who was the commander of occupation forces in the UK, had planned to defeat Fenerbahçe, that supported the national struggle with weapons, and Turkish people on this wise, in a spiritual sense with the competition he organized on his behalf before leaving Turkey. The match played in front of a huge crowd of supporters on June 29, 1923, at Taksim Stadium, which was located in the area where Gezi Park is located today, was an attempt to besiege the physically invaded country in every sense with professional football players around the world included in the match as a result of General Harrington’s personal and covert rancorousness. As a result of the competition, witnessed to a cliffhanger and ended up in a magnificent victory, Fenerbahçe won the cup and represented the spirit of national struggle against imperialism. The artist, focusing on the sub-meanings football has lost and gained in the process of globalizing and becoming an industry that dominates the global economy, reveals a story of resistance that draws its strength from its simplicity and the evolution of imperialism.
The video work and data-based mural work accompanying Fatih Temiz’s large-scale drawings, considered as the cornerstone of his practice, reveals the balance between a nostalgic stance, which is coherent with the historical background of the exhibition, and archival approach. The Turkish equivalent of the term “cannon” also refers to encouraging some speculative cases in order to make benefit from them. With this term, Temiz brings a critical approach to the football industry which has become a field of power and authority, run by pawns, instead of being an enjoyable activity.