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The discussion Mirage: A Residue of Corporeality aims at opening up a debate on politics of representation and strategies of hiding by indicating the invisible, the absence of the present, acknowledging shadows as traces of past events, departing from the work of conceptual artist Serkan Özkaya and focusing on his recent installation Mirage, exhibited for the first time at Postmasters Gallery in July 2013.

For their omnipresent manifestation, shadows are rather ignored by the eye, and become invisible, unless they are indicated or sharply cast. Throughout the history there have been many artists fascinated with shadows, and generated methods to capture and represent them in various forms. Serkan Özkaya’s particular contribution to this in the paradigm of Mirage is to completely detach the shadow from the object it belongs to, and to reproduce it as it’s own image or object, which is not simply to be viewed but to be experienced by the audience with its possible weight.

The presentations and discussion will focus on a variety of questions that arise from the work Mirage: How can a shadow, the direct verification of the existence of a matter, speak for itself? How would the invisible traces of past events persist their influences on individuals and societies? What would be the impact of a shadow of an airplane that passes, all of a sudden, over the audience gathered in a gallery space?

Akira Mizuta Lippit is the professor and chair of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts and professor in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California. His interests are in world cinemas, critical theory, Japanese film and culture, experimental film and video and visual studies. Lippit’s published work reflects these areas and includes three books, Atomic Light (Shadow Optics) (University of Minnesota Press, 2005), Electric Animal: Toward a Rhetoric of Wildlife (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and Ex-Cinema: From a Theory of Experimental Film and Video (University of California Press, 2012).

Spyros Papapetros is an associate professor of art and architectural historian and theorist at Princeton University School of Architecture. His work focuses on the historiography of art and architecture, the intersections between architecture and the visual arts, as well as, the relationship between architecture, psychoanalysis and the history of psychological aesthetics. His book On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture and the Extension of Life has been published this year by the University of Chicago Press.

Isin Önol is a curator based in Vienna, whose primary research interests are curatorial and artistic occupation with notions of darkness, shadow, invisibility, absence as strategies for participation, transmitting information and hidden political connotation, alongside with strategies in occupation of spaces dealing with notions of censorship, discrimination and otherness.

Serkan Özkaya is a conceptual artist whose work deals with topics of appropriation and reproduction, and typically operates outside of traditional art spaces. His latest works include, Mirage, a shadow of a passenger airplane that crossed the room for 45 seconds every four minutes; One and Three Pasta (with George L. Legendre), where the duo created 3D computer models for 92 types of pasta after Legendre’s mathematical equations and David (inspired by Michelangelo), at two-times the size of the original. Ozkaya is the author and editor of ten books, including Double (Lars Muller Publishers, 2013), The Rise and Fall and Rise of David (21c Museum and Yapi Kredi, 2011), and Today Could Be a Day of Historical Importance (artwithoutwalls, 2010).