Nick Hackworth

Gizem Karakaş, Your Last Chance to Visit Studio, Istanbul

Essays & Reviews Dazed

Gizem Karakaş both satirises and pays tribute to icons like Andy Warhol and Gavin Turk by questioning what it actually takes to be an artist.

Any industry sucks when you see it up-close. The fashion world is (probably) superficial and bitchy, the music industry is (probably) sleazy and greedy, and the art world, well… depending on where you’re standing, it (might) look and smell like a cesspit, albeit with some shiny baubles floating on the surface – made up in equal parts of vanity, idiocy, pretension, greed, wonder, fun, beauty and, just occasionally, flashes of intelligence.

Opening in Istanbul this week is Your Last Chance to Visit Studio, an exhibition by young video and performance artist Gizem Karakaş that provides a brilliantly funny and smart meta-satire on the whole business of being an artist and operating in the art world. In videos performances such as “I Am Gavin Turk” and “Fuat Eşrefoğlu Eating a Lahmacun” – a kind of botched attempt to make a Turkish version of a clip called “Andy Warhol Eats a Burger” from an 80s movie – Karakaş simultaneously pays tribute to and gently mocks her famous subjects. Above all, though, they dramatise Karakas’ own role as a young, aspirational artist, a role she both actually occupies and theatrically hams up. Any industry sucks when you see it up-close.