Short Biography

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Deniz’s concept-driven works explore the intersections and points of entanglement between economics and nature. She focuses on the human-nature relationship, how the idea of nature is shaped by different value systems throughout history, and today's ecological concerns. Questioning capitalism-led deterioration of nature, Deniz reveals how the system reshapes our perception towards nature with its tacit manipulations. She looks into the different perspectives on value systems by delving into inequality, poverty, and consumer culture. Her recent works revolve around the losses, transformations and extinctions in particular geographies, as well as sites of inequality between humans and non-humans. Critically exposing the faults of consensus-based value judgements, the artist asks whether it is possible to imagine a new relationship with nature and think about its wider potential.

Elmas Deniz graduated from Dokuz Eylul University, Department of Painting, 2003 and Izmir Anatolian High School of Fine Arts, 1998. Her works have been displayed in the 16th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, 2019; the 14th Istanbul Biennial, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, 2015; Colomboscope, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2017; the 5th Gyumri Biennial in Yerevan, Armenia, 2006.

Deniz’s most recent solo exhibition include: Conversation at the Island of Mollusks at Bilsart, 2020; Three Hues of Water, 2019 at Zilberman, Istanbul. Her works have been shown at Boan 1942 Art Space; Seoul, Korea 2022; D21Kunstraum, Leipzig 2022; Videocity, Dresden, Lyon, Basel, 2021-2022; Pera Museum, Istanbul, 2020; MOCAK–Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, 2019; Arter, Istanbul 2019; Istanbul Museum of Modern Art 2016; Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, 2016; DEPO, Istanbul, 2016; SALT, İstanbul 2015; SECESSION, Museumsquartier, Vienna, 2013; La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, 2010; Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, 2009; and Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul, 2005.

She is also one of the co-founders of K2 Contemporary Art Center in Izmir, Turkey. She was awarded IASPIS Artist Grant, 2014 ; Berlin Goethe Institute Cultural Grant, 2007; and has been a resident at Pistoletto Foundation IT, 2011; DIVA Copenhagen, DK, 2008 and Vassl, Karachi, PK, 2006, AIWA Lebanon, 2005.

Curriculum Vitae

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Elmas Deniz Born 1981 in Bergama, Turkey. Visual artist. She lives and works in Istanbul.


  • 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

  • 2023 LaunchPad LAB Residency[ September-October], France
  • 2022 SAHA Studio grand and residency (World Weather network &[June-December] Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2020 Zilberman Gallery Residency [Feb-July] Berlin, Germany
  • 2018 SAHA Production Grant, Re/Evolution Exhibition, Sri Lanka
  • 2015 ALANICA Symposium, Vladikavkaz, Nort-Ossetia, 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

  • 2020  A Conversation at the Isle of Mollusks, Bilsart, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019  Three Hues of Water, Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 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 Curated by Oscar Ramos- Stine Östberg, SVILOVA, Sweden
  • 2012  Elmas (Fear of Poverty) 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  All About Lies, Solo Performance, Apartment Project, Istanbul, Turkey

Group Exhibitions

  • 2023 Landscapes, Florenz & Istanbul, Curated by Dr.Antje-Britt Mählmann, Museum Schloss Moyland, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2023 Witness Of The Flow, Curated by Derya Yücel, Ebru Yetişkin, Marcus Graf, CENDERE Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2022  United For Peace,Curated by Albrecht Behmel, Anette Fisher, at Wandelhalle, Böblingen, Germany
  • 2022  World Weather Network/ Seoul, Curated by Sunjung Kim, SooJin Lee, Heehyun Cho, Sooyoung Choi , Sonya Art Center, Seoul, South-Korea
  • 2022 Co-Art Co-Act Özyeğin University, Paralel event pf 17th Istanbul Bienale, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2022  Blue Planet_Sea, Curated by Park Seung-yeon, co-curated by Jeonguk Choi , Art Space Boan 1942, Seoul, South-Korea
  • 2022  Videocity visits Dresden, Curated by Andrea Domesle, Projektzentrum für Zeitgenössische Kunst Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • 2022  Dry Summer, Curated by Melike Bayik, Eldem Sanat Alani, Eskisehir, Turkey
  • 2022  Foreign Gaze, Curated by Murat Alat, Nazım Hikmet Kultur merkezi, Nilufer, Bursa, Turkey
  • 2021  Sentient Matter, Curated by Tina Ribatris and Tuçe Erel, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2021  Utopia, Curated by Margot Raffy and Lucie Pavy, Videocity, Lyon, France
  • 2021  Loneliness II, Curated by Andrea Domesle, Videocity, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2021  Recurrence, Curated by Lotte Laub, Zilberman Berlin, Germany
  • 2021  Crystal Clear, Curated by Elena Sorokina, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2021 At the End of the Day, OMM-Odunpazarı Modern Museum, Eskişehir, Turkey
  • 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, Colomboscope, 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
  • 2015  Alanica. The Experimental Method - Special Project Of The 6Th Moscow Biennale Of The Contemporary Art, Curated by Gala Tebieva, Museum and Exhibition Center Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, Moscow, Russia
  • 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 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 III/ 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
  • 2001  Ventriloquist Iletisim Bookstore, Izmir, Turkey


  • 2022  World Weather Network, Artist Talk:PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE AS AN ARTISTIC PRACTICE SAHA Studio Video (panel discussion) - Istanbul, 8 October 2022 , SAHA, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2022  Digilogue, Towards a green curating, Panelist with Bager Akbay and Meltem Şahin, Zorlu Performing and Arts Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2020  Lecturer at Nesin Villages on Video pro duction, Ecological Regenaration programme, Şirince, Turkey
  • 2019  Lecture, Leave No Stone Unturned, Virjie University Humanities Center, Amsterdam, The Nederlands
  • 2019  Artist Talk, 16th Istanbul Biennial AICA Panel Series: Interdisciplinary encounters at Antroposen moderator: İlker Cihan Biner, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019  Exploring The Seventh Continent II- 16th Biennial public program, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019  Talk, Digestion Programme-Concrete, IKSV Biennial public programme, MSFAU Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019  Artist Talk with Elif Kamışlı, Lost Waters, Zorlu Performing and Arts Center, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2019  Artist Talk with Ali Akay, Integration with Nature, Sekerbank New Media Arts Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2018 Conversation with Serhan Ada, Profiles and Processes, Akbank Art Talks, Akbank Sanat, 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 led 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 the 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]
  • 2010-2013  Organization of series of talks at DEPO in Istanbul as collaborator of Acik Masa
  • 2012-2014  Radikalisler
  • 2004-2008  K2 Artist Initiative, Founder member and co-director
  • 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 2020, March. 8,2 MB fi-download Download PDF Portfolio

This portfolio includes selected works that have been produced between 2020 and 2012.