Deniz Uster

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Artist: Deniz Uster

Works at: Seoul Art Space_GeumCheon
Stays in: 2013
Genre: Visual Arts/film-making, sculpture, installation
2008/2010: Glasgow School of Art, MFA in Fine Arts, Glasgow / UK
2005/2007: Sabanci University, MA, Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design, Istanbul / Turkey
2001 /2005: Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, BA, Painting and Drawing, Istanbul / Turkey

Solo exhibition

2011, Invited and Volunteered, Rampa, Istanbul, Turkey
2011, Encrypting Signs on the Fabric of a Rhizome (with Tom Harrup), La Guarina Gallery, Verona, Italy
2011, Extracting Souvenirs From the Centre of the Sediment, (with Tom Harrup), The Briggait, Glasgow, UK.
2010, Light Courses, Elgiz Contemporary Art Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
2010, Finger to a Blind Eye, (with Tom Harrup), Umbrella Art Space, Leeds / UK
2010, Earthworm and Tambour-Powder (with Tom Harrup), Trongate 103, Glasgow / UK
2009, *serving suggestion, (with Tom Harrup), Mclellan Galleries, Glasgow / UK
2007, What is Opposed to I, Fassart Gallery, Istanbul / Turkey

Group exhibition

2012, Encounters: Turkish Contemporary Art in Korea, Ara Art Gallery, Insadong, Seoul, Korea
2012, Art Dubai Projects, Medinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
2012, Cambo Project, Historic Cambo Stables, Fife, UK
2012, Intentional Community: Video Art from Finland and the UK, XL Art Space, Helsinki, Finland
2012, Sikka Art Fair, Al Bastakiya, Dubai, UAE
2012, Stanza Poetry Festival, St. Andrews, Scotland.
2011, Confessions of Dangerous Minds, Contemporary Art from Turkey, Saatchi Gallery, London / UK
2011, The 2011 Sovereign European Art Prize, Haskoy Yun Iplik Fabrikasi, Istanbul, Turkey.
2011, Cupar Arts Festival, Kirk Wynd Warehouse in Cupar, Fife, UK.
2011, Garage 2.0, video screening, Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany
2011, Young Scottish Video Work, collaborative video screening between Collective Gallery and Pist, Istanbul / Turkey


2013, Glasgow Visual Arts Award, Glasgow Life, Glasgow, UK
2012, Nominated and Undertaken a three-month residency in Dubai, working on two commissions: Art Dubai Projects and the Open Studio Program supported by Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture and Heritage and Tashkeel.
2011, Selected to represent Turkey for Henkel Art Award
2011, Nominated and shortlisted for Sovereign European Art Prize
2010, Success Award, The Association of Painting and Sculpture Museums, Istanbul, Turkey


2013, Feature film commission and residency at Satellite Art Space, Dubai, UAE
2012, Art Dubai Projects and Open Studio Program, Dubai, UAE
2010, Return to Walden, Passy, Burgundy, France.


Beyond is Before, 2013, HD film, 54 minutes, 16:9.

Beyond is Before, 2013, HD film, 54 minutes, 16:9.

69, 2012, HD film, 29.30 minutes, 16:9

69, 2012, HD film, 29.30 minutes, 16:9

Somewhere in the Middle of Two, Southwest of One and North of the Other  (One of three kinetic windcatchers), 2012, water pump, expanding foam, tree, car tyre, wood, water, 320X100X100cm

Deniz Üster

Narrating myths from an unknown future, Üster invokes vaguely familiar rituals from Anatolian folklore, Middle Asian Shamanism and Islamic mythology. She then remoulds these in the post-industrial landscape of Glasgow; where kinetics permeate into works, with an aesthetic that is at once Victorian and sci-fi.

A Survey of Emerging Sculptors from around the World
Aaron Cezar (Director, Delfina Foundation)
In her practice, Turkish artist Deniz Üster chronicles alternative readings of the past, present and possible future. Through a laborious construction of found materials, kinetic devices and handcrafted parts, Üster’s sculptural work makes radical propositions that belie their seemingly haphazard assemblage. Her work combines playful and experimental approach with a committed sense of engagement with theoretical discourse, mythology and ‘place’ that invites audiences to consider a range of issues from urban transformation (<Looking For a Needle in a Hay-Barn with No Eyes and No Hands>, 2011) to cultural hybridity (<Invited and Volunteered>, 2011). For last year’s A.i.R. Dubai, our annual collaboration with Art Dubai, Tashkeel and Dubai Culture, Üster built three multi-sensory barjeels, or wind-catchers, the traditional air ventilation towers found in Persian-inspired architecture. Each barjeel carried the essence of cities where Üster has been based, all of which, according to the artist, have shaped her identity and practice. Entitled <Somewhere in the Middle of Two, Southwest of One and North of the Other> (2012), the artist took ‘reverse functionality’ as her methodology using a hodge-podge of parts to invert the role of such towers from ‘catchers’ to distributers of scent (Istanbul), humidity (Glasgow) and sound (Dubai). At their core, Üster’s barjeels explore the notion of liminality, skillfully questioning value, systems and tradition.
- This article was previously published in Take on Art, Sculpture, (Vol III, Issue 10), 2013, pp.46-48.