Informal Incidents

Ahmet Ogut

22 August - 3 October 2010

smba-newsletter-117.pdf (295 Kb)
punch-this-painting-leaflet.pdf (1.32 Mb)

Opening & Auction:

Saturday August 21, 5 - 7 p.m.

During the opening, at about 6 p.m., the auction of Ahmet Ögüt’s self-portrait in oils takes place. For more information, please read the enclosed 'Punch This Painting Leaflet'.

I do not believe that power is a perfectly functioning mechanism. Yes, power is everywhere but with its weaknesses and gaps. (Ahmet Ögüt)

Ahmet Ögüt’s quote sets the scene for the selection of works on display at the artist’s solo exhibition, taking place in the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The exhibition, entitled ‘Informal Incidents’, comprises photographs, videos, an installation and an auction; the common denominator in all the works on display is the desire for a departure from the norm. For instance, by scheduling an auction at SMBA, which normally is a non-commercial institution, Ögüt aims at pushing our minds open to new possibilities.

The auction is an example of the artist’s celebration of actions performed in order to question social assumptions and the status quo. Ögüt praises acts like challenging the ordinary and exploring the gaps. His actions find expression in generally unspectacular but frequently disconcerting events, often recorded and transmitted to the public by use of documentary materials such as photography or video. However, by faking the action documented, Ögüt simultaneously questions the epistemological status of the documentary material: Can documentary material provide true accounts of fake actions?

For instance, looking at the photographs from the series Mutual Issues, Inventive Acts (2008) makes one wonder why the ordinary people depicted are doing such unusual things as transporting a tablet with filled tea cups on a bike. Whatever their personal reason for performing these actions, the artistic setting created by Ögüt provided the way out: it is art’s power to break with conventions and to engage in the philosophical discussion about the human quest for meaning which fascinates Ögüt and drives his artistic practice. ‘Informal Incidents’ provides the visitor with the chance to become better acquainted with the basics of Ögüt’s artistic practice and with the principles underlying his major works.

Ahmet Ögüt (b. 1981, Diyarbakir, Turkey) received his bachelor’s degree in fine art from Hacettepe University in Ankara and a master’s degree in art and design from Yildiz Teknik University in Istanbul. From 2007 until 2008 Ögüt was a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In 2009 he was co-represented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennial. Ögüt lives and works in Amsterdam.

For more information see:


The exhibition in SMBA is accompanied by the SMBA Newsletter No. 117 (NL/EN) featuring an essay written by Moosje Goosen.

With thanks to:

Christie’s Amsterdam