State of Concept presents the first solo exhibition in Greece of the work of Ahmet Öğüt entitled “Labour after Pay, Love before Work – An Artworkers VIP Lounge”followed by a public program. The exhibition’s opening will take place on the 23rd of June at 19:00 accompanied by the performance Fair Wage for a Made Up Job starting at 19:30.  

The solo show presents a wide range of Öğüt’s individual as well as collective and collaborative parts of his practice, all works that have never been on display in Greece before. Öğüt’s exhibition is based on a critical interrogation of the art institution, exploring how artist, viewer and curator intersect. In a newly commissioned installation that includes previous works, the artist is re-creating visually a VIP Lounge for precarious cultural workers, making a potent comment on the precarious conditions of freelance art workers in Greece and beyond, that many times work for free, without contracts or with short term zero hour contracted jobs. The work comes in a poignant time when discussions in the Greek art scene are leading to the formation of a union and collective struggles for contemporary art work to be recognised in the tax system. Within the installation previous pieces of the artist will be activated, and the viewer can see examples of past collaborative and collective projects, but also other cultural workers will be hosted, invited to present their work. A film program will be running in the VIP Lounge in July and September. 

Ahmet Öğüt lives and works between Amsterdam and Berlin. He works with a broad range of media including video, photography, installation, drawing and printed media. Öğüt has exhibited his work throughout the world, at venues such as the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide; Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art), Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Lissabon; and Künstlerhaus Bremen. 

Special thanks to SoC team: Konstantina Melachrinou, Róza Deák Beatrix Szovetes and Claire Weibel

Parallel Public Program

Performance: Fair Wage for a Made-Up Job, June 23rd 2023

Öğüt’s performance consists of hiring three performers to work in shifts. They are spinning monitors displaying Öğüt’s film and as part of the project, the performers are paid per hour as much as the Director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (EMST). The project tends to expose and re-evaluate the hierarchies of pay and repute within cultural production.

Performers: Konstantina Barkouli, Evi Psaltou, Xenia V.Koghilaki

Lectures at the Artworkers VIP Lounge with Nagehan Uskan & Katarzyna Wojtczak  , September 15th 2023

Available on our YouTube channel.

Lecture 1 by Nagehan Uskan & Lecture 2 by Katarzyna Wojtczak

Screening (on loop): Workers Leaving the Factory (1995), Harun Farocki , September 22nd – 23rd 2023

Workers Leaving the Factory – such was the title of the first cinema film ever shown in public. For 45 seconds, this still existant sequence depicts workers at the photographic products factory in Lyon owned by the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière hurrying, closely packed, out of the shadows of the factory gates and into the afternoon sun. Only here, in departing, are the workers visible as a social group. But where are they going? To a meeting? To the barricades? Or simply home?

These questions have preoccupied generations of documentary filmmakers. For the space before the factory gates has always been the scene of social conflicts. And furthermore, this sequence has become an icon of the narrative medium in the history of the cinema.

In his documentary essay of the same title, Harun Farocki explores this scene right through the history of film. The result of this effort is a fascinating cinematographic analysis in the medium of cinematography itself, ranging in scope from Chaplin’s Modern Times to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accattone!. Farocki’s film shows that the Lumière brothers’ sequence already carries within itself the germ of a foreseeable social development: the eventual disappearance of this form of industrial labor. – Klaus Gronenborn 

Workshop at the Artworkers VIP Lounge: V.I.P Memeosas for Fed Up “Slobs” moderated by Socrates Stamatatos 

September 23rd 2023 

With the support of the Mondriaan Fonds. 

Part of  The Bureau of Care research platform 

Ahmet Öğüt born in 1981 in Diyarbakır, is a sociocultural initiator, artist, and lecturer. Working across a variety of media, including photography, video, and installation, Öğüt often uses humor and small gestures to offer his commentary on rather serious or pressing social and political issues. Öğüt is regularly collaborating with people from outside of the art world to create shifts in the perception of common. He has exhibited widely, more recently with solo presentations at Kunstverein Dresden, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Chisenhale Gallery, and Van Abbemuseum. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including 17th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, (2022); FRONT International 2022, Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Ohio (2022); Asia Society Triennial: We Do Not Dream Alone (2021); In the Presence of Absence, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2020); Zero Gravity at Nam SeMA, Seoul Museum of Art (2019); Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale (2018); the British Art Show 8 (2015-2017); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); the 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); Performa 13, the Fifth Biennial of Visual Art Performance, New York (2013); the 7th Liverpool Biennial (2012); the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2009); and the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2008). Öğüt has been a guest professor, mentor, tutor, advisor, research teacher at several schools. Among the schools are Institut für Kunst im Kontext at Universität der Künste Berlin; Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht; Sandberg Institute Amsterdam; Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki; TransArts – Transdisziplinäre Kunst, Institut für Bildende und Mediale Kunst Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien; and DAI (Dutch Art Institute) Arnhem. Öğüt was awarded the Visible Award for the Silent University (2013); the special prize of the Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Ukraine (2012); the De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs 2011, Netherlands; and the Kunstpreis Europas Zukunft, Museum of Contemporary Art, Germany (2010). He co-represented Turkey at the 53rdVenice Biennale (2009).