Haluk Akakçe was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1970. He studied architecture at Bilkent University in Ankara, and then received an MA from the Royal College of Art, London and an MFA in video and performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently lives and works in New York, Istanbul, and London.
Akakçe has exhibited extensively in Britain and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions and commissions include Alison Jacques Gallery, London, 2010; Deitch Projects, New York 2007; Maison Louis Vuitton Champs-Elysées, Paris 2007; The Sky is the Limit (2007), Las Vegas; Museum Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, 2005; British Art Show 6, Hayward Gallery, London, 2005; BALTIC, Gateshead, 2005-6; Tate Britain, London, 2004; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, 2003 and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2002; Shanghai Biennial and the São Paulo Bienal, 2002.
Haluk Akakçe’s work includes animated video projections, wall paintings and sound installations, revealing abstract and dream-like landscapes where biology, architecture, geometry and metaphysics coexist. The works draw from an eclectic set of references: Celtic and Islamic architecture, Art Deco, science-fiction and American comic books. The visual texture of the animations is familiar from computer games and pop videos, yet this reclamation of a form of contemporary popular culture creates a new formal language for gallery-based art.
Blind Date (2004) is an abstract digital video work featuring what appear to be white geometric shapes appearing and disappearing on white spaces. Akakçe first trained as an architect and the viewer might feel like they are travelling up the façade of a building and imagine a three-dimensional space where there is in-fact no physical referent. The endlessly mutating geometric reliefs which emerge and retreat from the white ground recall pioneering British abstract artist Ben Nicholson’s (1894 – 1982) early white reliefs, or the pierced façade of Le Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp. The projection works within the architectural confines of the space, the contrast between the static building and the endless scrolling forms on the screen plays with the idea of depth and flatness, of positive and negative spatial values. A kind of rolling motion forces the viewer to bring their own associations to the forms, while the work demonstrates the idea of creating duration within a plane surface.