NASAN TUR goes to Milan | Memory as Resistance

NASAN TUR goes to Milan | Memory as Resistance

By Alessandra Stefanini @ale_heloise

Lorenz suggested that the flap of a butterfly’s wings might cause a tornado on the other side of the Earth. Can we say the same for our actions?

Let’s think about it: every word we speak and every little gesture we make have consequences on other people’s life. Everyone has a role is our society and we all have a sort of legacy that will survive us, even when we won’t be around anymore; it is a little bit scary, isn’t it? But what if we start to see this as a superpower that everyone has and can impact positively on the society?

Ok, let’s go straight to the point: on our History books, on the newspapers, on TV and social media we read every day inspirational quotes and facts about someone who tried to fight against discrimination, tyrannies, injustices; these people are common women and men who decided to dedicate their life and their job to make the world a better place.

Nasan Tur brings some of them in its last exhibition, curated by Gabi Scardi, Memory as Resistance at Adolfo Pini Foundation in Milan, making their portrait works of art, photographs that become sculptures exhibited near the elegant potteries, artefacts and paintings.

The Russian journalist Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaja, killed in 2006 and famous for her commitment for human rights; Josè Luis Lopez de la Calle, journalist of El Mundo, imprisoned for his anti-fascist activism during the Franco’s regime and murdered in 2000 by the separatist group ETA: these are just two examples of these amazing people who have spent their time fighting for freedom of expression.

(Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaja photo)

Seven photos compose the exhibition itinerary, along with the three-bourgeois room of the house, which was, before being turned into a Foundation in 1991, an elegant Nineteenth Century building in the heart of Milan, where the painter Renzo Bongiovanni Radice and his nephew, the scientist and lecturer in physiology Adolfo Pini, lived.

A video completes the exhibition, played on a little screen and placed on a beautiful table in marble and wood: two hands are continuously crumpling and unfolding a piece of paper, printed on it we can recognise the photo of Hrant Dink, a key personality in the movement for reconciliation in Turkey, human rights activist and editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, who was killed at the entrance of the editorial office in 2007.

(Hrant Dink photo)

The technique we see in the video, repeated in an infinite sequence, is the same used for the photos exposed in the showcases; crumpling, unfolding and stretching the paper, the portraits acquire a physical presence, becoming something between painting and sculpture.

With this exhibition, the artist explores other important subjects (like activism, memory and resistance) in the theme of living and urban coexisting, that is central in his poetics; his art provides new tools to read the contemporary landscape, in order to understand its contradictions, showing the social tension of the individual in the present age and offering ways to read the complexity, focusing on important issues like ideologies, languages, cultural heritage, nationality.

"Why are we what we are?". Nasan Tur tries to answer to this existential question through site-specific installations (like Demo Kit Deluxe, 2009), high technology tools (like in First Shot, 2014) and now with seven simple photos and one video that show how huge can be the impact of one person’s life on the entire society.

Nasan Tur. Memory as Resistance

curated by Gabi Scardi

30 November 2017 - 9 March 2018

Adolfo Pini Foundation


The people who fought for justice, truth and freedom of expression portrayed in this display are the already mentioned journalists Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaja, Hrant Dink and Josè Luis Lopez de la Calle; the editor-in-chief Nadschi al-Dscherf; the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia; the political analyst Kem Ley; the writer Walter Tobagi.

Interview with Gita Meh

Interview with Gita Meh

Sandrine Langlade

Sandrine Langlade