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Interview: Heinz Peter Schwerfel

Don’t be surprised if Dolapdere soon earns a reputation as the new heart of contemporary art in Istanbul after Dirimart fueled an artistic reform in the neighborhood by opening its second gallery here after Nişantaşı.

We took advantage of the opportunity to speak with Heinz Peter Schwerfel, the curator of Dirimart Dolapdere’s inaugural exhibition Surface and Beyond

Dirimart has created a new world for art lovers in Dolapdere. How did you feel when you found out that the new gallery would be located here?
“Dolapdere reflects the atmosphere of Beyoğlu as it was 30 years ago, with flea markets, small restaurants and a notable university. A private museum is set to open there within the next two years. It’s a truly dynamic neighborhood, not a shopping district, which is great for art lovers.”

Architect Markus Dochantschi, who designed Dirimart Dolapdere, is someone who worked with Zaha Hadid for many years. How did you two collaborate to form a connection between the venue and the show?
“We designed the entirety of the space together, including the offices. We also put in a video box and additional walls to offer more hanging space without messing up the perspective of the space.”

You’ve collaborated with Dirimart on numerous occasions. How does it feel to curate the first exhibition in the new gallery?
“I hope Surface and Beyond will be the first in a series of conceptual, non-commercial shows. I would like for Dirimart Dolapdere to be a place that hosts shows for art lovers and not just art buyers.”

In terms of the name of the exhibition, what’s beyond the surface?
“If ‘surface’ stands for beauty – since all of the artworks play with a very seductive notion of abstract beauty – then ‘beyond’ relates to playful complexity and emotion.”

Surface and Beyond is at Dirimart Dolapdere until Jul 30. dirimart.com

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