Short Biography

310 words, Last updated 2019, April.

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Elmas Deniz is a concept-driven visual artist. Her works investigate the intersections and points of entanglement between economics and nature. The capitalism-led deterioration of nature, and our perception of it, as well as the related consumerist culture, are the central concepts in Deniz’s practice. She questions how the economic system continuously reshapes our perception through subtle but consistent manipulations. She sheds light on the illusional distribution of value. Deniz, further focuses on the human-nature relationship, the idea of nature throughout history, and ecological concerns. Her works critically expose the faults of the system and occasionally propose alternative possibilities. Form-content interplay, the attempts to adapt the form to the concept, defines her choices. She hence consults a wide range of media, including installation, sculpture, video, drawing, and writings.

Elmas Deniz (1981, Bergama, Turkey) lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Her most recent solo exhibitions include: Integration with Nature (Açıkekran New Media Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019), A Year Without a Summer (PİLOT, Istanbul, Turkey, 2018), Seeing the Black Panther (PİLOT, Istanbul, Turkey, 2014), Universal Minimum Wage Commission (SVILOVA, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2014) and Elmas (Maçka Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2012). Her selected group exhibitions include: Nature in Art (MOCAK- Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, 2019), Re/Evolution (Colombo Old Terminus Station, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2017), VIDEO FOREVER (Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France, 2016), TILL IT'S GONE (Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016), 14th Istanbul Biennial, SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms (Istanbul, Turkey, 2015), WE ARE HERE BeCAUSE YOU WERE/ARE (t)HERE (studio das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria, 2014), Unrest of Form (SECESSION/Museumsquartier, Vienna, Austria, 2013). She is also one of the co-founders of K2 Contemporary Art Center in Izmir, Turkey. Deniz’s works are part of several public and private collections including Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Collection.

Curriculum Vitae

1862 words, Last updated 2019, June.

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Elmas Deniz Born 1981 in Bergama, Turkey. Visual artist. She lives and works in Istanbul.Her artistic practice explores questions around economy (inequalities and value systems) and nature (especially on the idea of nature, our consumption and perception of it. Beside her artistic practices she is writer and initiator of various artist run initiatives and self-organized structures. She is interested in global power structures, state-control, urbanism, economy and globalization, as it is reflected in her organizational as well as artistic practice.


  • Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting Department 2003-1998
  • Izmir Anatolian Fine Arts High School / Visual Arts 1998-1995

Residency Programs and Grants

  • 2018 SAHA Production Grant, Re/Evolution Exhibition, Sri Lanka
  • 2015 ALANICA Symposium, Vladikavkaz, Nort-Osetia, Russia
  • 2015 IASPIS artist grant and residency [ May] Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2014 IASPIS artist grant and residency [ Jan-April] Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2011 Pistoletto Foundation Unidee residency and artist grant, [June-Oct] Biella, Italy
  • 2009 Sextant de Plus - La Friche Belle de Mai, [July-August] Marseilles, France
  • 2008 Danish international artists exchange program-DIVA residency and artist grant[June-August] Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2008 Garanti Platform CAC studio grant[March-May] Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2007 CPH Air residency program [April] Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2007 Berlin Goethe Institute Culture-Program artist grant, Berlin, Germany
  • 2006 Vasl Artists' Collective, international workshop and residency [February] Gadani, Karachi, Pakistan
  • 2006 IASPIS expert visitor program, Malmo-Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2006 FRAME expert visitor program, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2005 Aiwa Artist international workshop and residency [September] Beirut, Lebanon

Solo Projects and Exhibitions

  • 2019 Integration with Nature, Curated by Ali Akay, Şekerbank Acıkekran New Media Arts Gallery, İstanbul, Turkey
  • 2018 A Year without a Summer, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2014 Seeing the Black Panther, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2014 Universal Minimum Wage Commission screening, Curated by Oscar Ramos- Stine Östberg, SVILOVA, Sweden
  • 2012 Elmas [35th years anniversary exhibitions] Curated by Nazli Gurlek, Macka Art gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2012 Money issues [with Ozgur Demirci] Curated by Nicoletta Daldenise, Pasajist independent art space, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2007 On Volatility/ Despre Votalititate [with Pilvi Takala] Curated by Oana Tanese, Galeria Nouva, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2006 Nothing Can Happen to Us [Cernobyl] Alti Aylik Project Space, Initiated by Sylvia Kouvali, Kristina Kramer and Öyku Özsoy, Istanbul Turkey
  • 2004 Solo Performance, All About Lies, Apartment Project, Istanbul, Turkey

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019 16th Istanbul Biennial, The Seventh Continent, Curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, MSFAU Painting and Sculpture Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019 Words Are Very Unnecessary, Curated by Selen Ansen, Arter, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019 I'm an Eye, A Mechanical Eye, Curated by Naz Bescan, Zilberman Gallery Istanbul,Turkey
  • 2019 Nature in Art, Curated by Delfina Jałowik, Maria Anna Potocka, Martyna Sobczyk, MOCAK- Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland
  • 2019 A Screening by birbucuk, Curated by Kevser Güler, thankyuforcoming-Narcisso, Nice, France
  • 2018 K.E.K Sevenler, Women's Library Fundraising Exhibition, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2017 Re/Evolution, Curated by Menika Van der Poorten, Colombo Old Terminus Station, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 2016 In the Blink of a Bird, Collaborative production of Sis Collective, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2016 TILL IT'S GONE, Curated by Celenk Bafra and Paolo Colombo, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey
  • 2016 VIDEO FOREVER, Curated by Paul Ardenne, Nicolas Etchenagucia and Barbara Polla, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France
  • 2016 IdentityLab Sessions, Curated by Susanne EwerÖf and Naz Guguoğlu, at the Consulate General of Sweden, DEPO and the Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 2015 14th Istanbul Biennial, SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 EVERY INCLUSION IS AN EXCLUSION OF OTHER POSSIBILITIES, Curated by November Paynter, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2014 Stay with me, Initiated by Selda Asal, Apartment Project, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 WE ARE HERE BeCAUSE YOU WERE/ARE (t)HERE, Curated by Lennard Dost, das weisse haus,Vienna, Austria
  • 2014 Moving Museum Istanbul, Initiated by Aya Mousavi and Simon Sakhai, Sishane CarPark, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2013 UNREST OF FORM/Imagining the Political Subject Exhibition by Wiener Festwochen,Curated by Georg Schöllhammer, SECESSION, Academy of Fine Arts, MuseumsQquartier Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2013 Suspended Song, Co-Pilot, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2012 onyedikasimikibinoniki[art prize] Haskoy string factory, Curated by Öyku Özsoy, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2012 Me,myself and I, Initiated by the artist collective Gercek Kotuler, Cermodern, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2011 Becoming Istanbul, Curated by Meriç Öner, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2011 Friday in F.R.A.C, Interventions, Curated by Nicoletta Daldenise, Frac Piedmonte Collection, Biella, Italy
  • 2010 Strade/ Routes, Centro Espositivo SMS, Viale delle Piagge, Cinema Arsenale, Pisa, Italy
  • 2010 Emploi Seasonniers,Curated by Veronique Collard Bovy,La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseilles, France
  • 2010 Floating Volumes, Frise Kunstlerhaus, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2009 There is No Audience, Curated by Misal Adnan Yildiz, Montehermoso,Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
  • 2009 Contingent Identities, Initiated by Isidora Ficovic, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2009 Creative Destruction, Outlet Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2008 e-flux video rental, The Building, Berlin, Germany
  • 2008 On produce-ability, Initiated by Alti Aylik, 5533, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2007 Bound By, Initiated by Claudia Weber, Basement Gallery, Vienna, Austuria
  • 2007 Urban Pedestals, Curated by Lotte Juul Petersen, Norregade [Public space], Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2007 Punctured Tyree, Initiated by participant artists, K2 CAC, Izmir, Turkey
  • 2006 5th Gyumri Biennial, The Seas, Dreams and Illusions, Curated by Arpine Tokmakjan [part of Buy a Dream store] Yerevan, Armenia
  • 2006 Vassl International artist workshop exhibition, Karachi, Pakistan
  • 2006 Check in Europe, Curated by Veronika Wiman, European Patent Office, Munich, Germany
  • 2005 Gemini: Muse Project, Curator Fulya Erdemci, Amstelkring Museum, Amsterdam, Nederlands
  • 2005 Normalization 3/ that from a long way off look likes flies... Curated by November Paynter-Vasif Kortun, Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2004 The Visitor, Curated by Emre Baykal-Rob Perree, Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2004 The Tedium and The Rainbow, Curated by Levent Calikoglu, Aksanat, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2003 B-Fact: Back Sea/ Baltic Sea/ Barents Sea, Initiated by Huseyin Alptekin, Bilgi Atelier 111, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2002 Under the Beach: The Pavement, Curated By Halil Altindere-Vasif Kortun, Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art Proje 4L[2001-2004], Istanbul, Turkey


  • 2019 Artist Talk with Ali Akay, Integration with Nature, Sekerbank New Media Arts Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2018 Artist Talk, Social Impact Through Art, Initiated by Oyku Ozgencil, Bomonti Ada, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2017 Lecture performance, with Yasemin Ozcan, Part of You&I Exhibition, 5533, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2016 Lecture & Conversation: Making Sense: Aesthetic Response and Responsibility, Dr. Roger Cook In conversation with artists Alper Aydın and Elmas Deniz, İstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey
  • 2016 Artist Talk, Dunyada Mekan, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 EVERY INCLUSION IS AN EXCLUSION OF OTHER POSSIBILITIES, Conversation with Collector Saruhan Doğan, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 Artist presentation, meeting with art professionals from University of Bern, Switzerland, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 Talk, Northwestern University Anthropology department MA, on Art, Politics, and Publics, Istanbul, Tukey
  • 2015 Debater at EMWAP Theatre and Dance festival, invited as visual artist, D22, Talimhane Tiyatrosu, Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 Monday lectures- Part of MA Lecture Series of the Faculty of Kunst, Musikk & Design at the University of Bergen, Istanbul.
  • 2014 Seeing the Black Panther,Artist Talk with Merve Unsal, Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2014 Lecture, Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2012 Elmas exhibition talk, with Özge Ersoy, Macka Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2012 Moderator and speaker, Alp Klanten's artist talk, Macka Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2010 Nonconformist Artist, artist talk, DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2009 Relative Positions and Conclusions exhibition, artist talk, Curated by Önder Özengi, Suriye Pasaji (temporary exhibition space) Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2008 On Alternative practices, artist talk, Orhangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey
  • 2007 Open Table: Esra Okyay, Organized by Muruvvet Turkyilmaz, Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2007 Artists Talk, with Adnan Yildiz, Overgaden Art Institute/ Cousina Autonomia, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2007 Anonymous, production workshop leaded by the artist, Kultur University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2007 P2P Izmir workshop, K2 CAC, Organized by Veronica Wiman
  • 2006 Artists Talk, Elmas Deniz-Ahmet Ogut, Kultur Universty, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2006 Alternative Art spaces, Organized by Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle, Platform Garanti CAC/ PIST/BAS, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2006 Gyumri Biennial workshop, Organized by Arpine Tokmakjan, Yerevan, Armenia
  • 2005 Art Actually Concept origin by Fatos Ustek, Michel Thrusz, Contribution to fanzine, Istanbul/New York Workshops
  • 2004 Artist initiatives from Brussels, Istanbul, Izmir, Diyarbakir, Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul, Turkey


  • 2010 Overtime Work, Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center, Izmir, Turkey
  • 2008 The Unmarked Categories, K2 CAC, Izmir, Turkey
  • 2004 She was one of the founders and project directors of K2 Artist Initiative between 2004-2007


  • 2012-2016 Mental Space supplementary series of the journal Sanat Dunyamiz
  • 2011- She is founder editor of Merkezkac publications
  • 2008 Overtime Work Exhibition Catalogue, Izmir Municipality Press, Turkey

Text contributions

  • 2017 Open Systems READER: Tomorrow is not Promised! Language: English, Published by Lambert Academic Publishing, ISBN: 978-3-330-05296-3
  • 2013 Art-Agenda, Review of 13th Istanbul Biennial “Mom, Am I Barbarian?”
  • 2013 Translation, The History of Anarchisms, With Baris Yildirim,A:S.Evren Iletisim Publications, Istanbul, ISBN:9789750512766
  • 2013 Open Spaces 2 Online Publication-
  • 2011 Muhtelif magazine 6,with Burak Delier and Önder Özengi, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2011 Who am I anyway, interviewer, for the publication regarding Koken Ergun's solo show, Editor: Oliver Kielmayer, Kunstlerhause Winterthur
  • 2009 Dersimiz Guncel Sanat, Outlet Guncel Sanat Dizisi-1, Editor Azra Tuzunoglu, ISBN: 978-605-60677-0-9 Outlet Güncel Sanat Dizisi-1, Mayıs 2009, 144 Sayfa
  • 2007 User's Manual- Contemporary art in Turkey between 1986-2007,H. Altindere, S. Evren Eds.,English/Turkish, ISBN: 978-3-86588-423-7
  • 2007 Contemporary art meetings II, Yapi Kredi Books, Istanbul, Turkish, ISBN: 9789750811784
  • 2005 December, Rh Art Magazine, hidden face exhibition review, with Tufan Baltalar

Selected publications/ catalogues/texts/reviews

  • 2018 Artreview-April issue, Under the Paving Stones Istanbul looks back,by Juliet Jacques
  • 2018 The Deep Ecology of Elmas Deniz, Daily Sabah Newspaper, by Matt Hanson
  • 2016 Re/Evolution, Exhibition book
  • 2017 Gorunmeyene Bakmak, 40 years of Macka Art Gallery, Eds. Rabia Capa, Turkish, ISBN 9786058388857
  • 2016 Art Forum-Editor's Picks, Till It's Gone, by Gokcan Demirkazık
  • 2016 TILL IT’S GONE AN EXHIBITION ON NATURE AND SUSTAINABILITY Exhibition catalogue, Ed. Can Kantarci, English/Turkish, ISBN: 978-975-6167-78-6
  • 2015 SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms 14th Istanbul Biennial Catalogue, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Turkish/English, ISBN 978-605-5275-25-9
  • 2015 User's Manual- Contemporary art in Turkey between 1986-2015, H. Altindere, S. Evren Eds., Revolver Publishing, English/Turkish, ISBN 9783957633019
  • 2013 Contemporary art for Children, YKY, Ist., Turkish, ISBN: 9789750826238
  • 2012 Catalogue, Full art prize, English/Turkish,Istanbul Turkey
  • 2012 Sanat Dunyamiz Journal, Elmas Hasedini Toki'lerinden yakalamak, Sureyya Evren
  • 2012 Art Unlimited journal, Interview with Burak Delier- Elmas Deniz
  • 2010 Emploi Seasonniers exhibition catalogue
  • 2010 Kasa Gallery 10th year anniversary book, sabanci university press, Istanbul
  • 2009 There is No Audience an Exhibition about Public Imagination, Catalogue, Texts by Adnan Yildiz- Noam Chomsky
  • 2006 Tema Celeste, February issue-141, On Trends: Where Does Turkish Art Stand Today?, by Fatos Ustek.
  • 2006 Art Review-july, Timing is Everything, by November Paynter.
  • 2006 Vasl International Artist Workshop Exhibition Catalogue, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • 2005 AIWA International Artist Workshop Exhibition Catalogue, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • 2005 Alice versus Alice, Exhibition Catalogue, Istanbul
  • 2004 The Tedium and The Rainbow Exhibition Catalogue, Aksanat, Istanbul
  • 2002 Arada Kalmak, Exhibition Catalogue, Izmir

Collective initiations

  • 2017 Sis Artist Collective
  • 2013 Group p [precarious]
  • 2010-13 Organization of series of talks at DEPO in Istanbul as collaborator of Acik Masa
  • 2012-2014 Radikalisler
  • 2004-2008 K2 Artist Initiative
  • 2002 Kutu portable art venue, Founder member


  • Deniz’s works are included in several public and private collections, including Vehbi Koc Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, Tuten and Agah Ugur Collection, and Ayse and Saruhan Dogan Collection, among others.

PDF Portfolio

Last updated 2017.

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