In the Beginning, Istanbul 19380-20200


This book is not yet published, but will be available from January 2023.

ISBN: 9783775752541 Category:


This comprehensive monograph published in collaboration with Dirimart gathers works of contemporary artist Sarkis-conceived and presented in the context of the one city he keeps returning to: Istanbul. His iconic installation Çaylak Sokak, first exhibited in 1986, is considered a turning point in the history of contemporary art in Turkey. Named after the street Sarkis grew up in, Çaylak Sokak recreates his family home featuring a bathtub and his father’s shoes bearing the German words for war spoils KRIEGS and SCHATZ. A reference to German cultural theorist Aby Warburg’s concept of a “Leidschatz” as “humanity’s treasure of suffering”, “Kriegsschatz” became a key concept in Sarkis’ oeuvre. Drawing on his own Turkish-Armenian identity, Sarkis’s continunes his works presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015, the centennial of the Armenian genocide. His latest body of work Red Stained Glass traces the present through fragments from the past. Photographs from Istanbul are rendered in red, fractured and recombined to further explore themes such as time and memory, presence and absence, identity and exile.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 21 x 27 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 27 January 2023
Number of pages 504
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Cem Ileri
Dimensions 21 x 27 cm
Weight 300 g


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Paris-based Sarkis Zabunyan (*1938, Istanbul), is known by his first name SARKIS. He had his breakthrough with the exhibition Live In Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969, followed by his participation in documenta 6 and 7. Major exhibitions include Passages at the Centre Pompidou in 2010, Hôtel Sarkis, a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Geneva (MAMCO) in 2011, and his installation Respiro in the Turkish pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.