Özgür Demirci

For the residence in ARCUS

My project based on my research about cars and its culture in Japan. Since I came Moriya I have been collecting stories and experiments for my project. I have considered the modify issue as a rebellious movement in society. There is a variety of reasons for modifications applied to these cars I am also searching for the meaning of the modification. Because modified cars that have become the individual’s means of personal expression can be seen in extraordinary transformations.

Born in 1982 in Konya, Turkey, Demirci received his MFA at Valand School of Fine Arts, Göthenburg University, Sweden, in 2008, after his studies at Yıldız Technical University in Art and Design in Istanbul. He was artist-in-resident at the Borusan Art Center, Istanbul, 2008, and at Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, in Biella, Italy, in 2011.
By using diverse media including paintings, installation and performance, and often involving people, he investigates various realms of the public sphere in order to reveal the underlying system of power and control. In doing so, his work reflects how one inscribes the system with one’s subjectivity or resists it, either consciously or unconsciously, collectively or individually.

Demirci has participated in exhibitions and projects in Turkey, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Slovakia and Serbia, including: Reflecting on Reflection, Galeri Mana, Istanbul, 2012; Money Issue, PasajIST, Istanbul, 2012; and La Turo De Babel, Gallery Experimentell, Göteborg, 2012.

Ozgur Demirci works research the challenges of the individual in the social and public space. The definition of social space is especially interesting in a mega-city like Istanbul which may be is the most diverse and contradicting city in the world. A city where rapid transformation and the associated urgencies of this process happens in an exorbitant speed; manifested not only in new build infrastructure, but maybe even more in the rapidly changing mindset and morals of the people.
Ozgur Demirci visualizes his research and interventions in a language that is not only interesting - and readable - to the art audience but that is also attractive and accessible to the people directly involved in the situation he analyses and negotiates. To link his detailed observations with the highly formalized art environment the artist smartly uses some well known strategies and forms well-recognizable in the contemporary art discourse.

Tobias Berger


Working across film, painting, installation, and performance, Özgür Demirci explores the individual’s role in social and public space and the public character of “the artist.” In his current project, Demirci is researching the (sub)culture of customizing Tofaş (Türk Otomobil Fabrikasi Anonim Şirketi) cars in Istanbul, as an articulation of class desire and personal expression. For his ARCUS residency, he plans to research the longstanding “pocket community” counterpart in Japan in search of how such efforts unhinge the dictates of class structures.

Eungie Joo


Özgür Demirci’s project for ARCUS, intends to transpose into the Japanese context, his current research of the Turkish sub-culture of modifying a particular brand of cars as a way of making personal expression public. The proposal to use the particularities of one specific locality as a starting point to enter into a different place altogether, is both bizarre and concrete enough to be promising.

Lisa Rosendahl

Selected WorksShow Image

Resident Artists 2012

Özgür Demirci  <Turkey>

Basir Mahmood  <Pakistan>

Eunju Yoo  <South Korea>