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Hakan Topal

Hakan Topal
CONCRETESCAPE SOFTCITY, 2009, Performance and Installation, with Veronica Sekules C-Prints, Text, Portland Cement, Shovel, Audio System at Arthub, Bangkok University
Born 1972
Çorum Province, Turkey
Nationality Turkish, American
Known for Conceptual art, New media
Movement Conceptual

Hakan Topal is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently Assistant Professor of New Media and Art+Design at Purchase College, SUNY and a graduate faculty member in the School of Visual Arts’s MFA Program. He was the co-founder with Guven Incirlioglu of xurban_collective (2000-12), and is known for his research-based[1] conceptual art practice.


  • Education 1
  • Exhibitions 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4
  • Bibliography 5


Hakan Topal attended Chris Burden, Marina Abramovic, and Rebecca Horn, he realized his first art projects and performances. He then decided to concentrate on artistic research from within the Gender and Women’s Studies graduate program at METU where he received an M.S. Concurrently, he worked at METU's Audio Visual Research and Production Center where together with his autonomist colleagues, including Ulus Baker, Aras Ozgun, Ali Demirel, Ozgur Gokmen and Ersan Ocak, they transformed it into one of the first collective new media centers in Turkey.

In 2000 he moved to New York City and soon after began working at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York as New Media Projects Manager until 2008. He was responsible for the museum’s Media Lounge, the only dedicated museum space exhibiting new media art projects at the time. He worked on a wide range of technical, conceptual and design projects, produced art works and developed websites.[2]

He continued studies in sociology, receiving an M.A. and Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research with a concentration in urban sociology and sociology of art. His dissertation was titled Negotiating Urban Space: Contemporary Art Biennials, The Case of New Orleans.[3]


Topal exhibited his collective and individual art works and research projects in institutions such as the 8th and 9th Istanbul Biennials; apexart, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), Vienna; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; ZKM Center for Art and Media; MoMA PS1; Kunstwerke, Berlin;[4] Platform, Istanbul and Roundtable: The 9th Gwangju Biennale.

Topal represented Turkey at the 49th Venice Biennale. His texts and projects have been featured in many international journals, books and catalogs. He is co-editor of the book, The Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters[5] which is the outcome of visual research and an international symposium for the Istanbul European Capital of Culture 2010.


  1. ^ Whose Terms? A Glossary for Social Practice: RESEARCH
  2. ^ The New Museum archive website
  3. ^ Negotiating Urban Space Contemporary Art Biennials and The Case of New Orleans by Topal, Hakan, Ph.D., New School University
  4. ^ Gritz, Anna. “Political/Minimal”, Frieze Magazine (January 2009)
  5. ^ Topal, Hakan and Incirlioglu, Guven. "The-Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters". New York: Newgray, 2011

External links

  • Hakan Topal's Project Website
  • Purchase College New Media BA Program
  • Purchase College Graphic Design BFA Program
  • xurban_collective Website


  • Topal, Hakan. “On Bottany Carcinoma” in Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture, edited by Lewis Johnson. Routledge, New York. 2014
  • Altındere, Hallil and Evren Sureyya, eds. 101 Artworks : 40 Years of Turkish Contemporary Art. Roterdam: Revolver, 2011.
  • Topal, Hakan and Incirlioglu, Guven. "The-Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters". New York: Newgray, 2011
  • Kafetsi, Anna. Politics of Art. Athens: EMST, 2010.
  • Amirsadeghi, Hossein. Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010.
  • Carvalho, Denise. Bodies of Dispersion: Mechanism of Distention. Galeria Arsenal, 2010.
  • Biesenbach, Klaus. Political/Minimal. Nürnberg: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2009.
  • Mortenbock, Peter. and Helge Moonshammer. Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space. Rotterdam: NAI Publishers, 2008.
  • ACMA. Biennale Del Paesaggio Mediterraneo'. Milan: ACMA Centro Di Archittettura, 2008.
  • Altindere, Haili., Evren S, eds. User's Manual / Contemporary Art in Turkey: 1986-2006. Istanbul: Revolver Books, 2007.
  • Elliot, David. Time Present, Time Past : Highlights from 20 Years of the Istanbul Biennial. Istanbul Modern, 2007.
  • Madra, Beral. Neighbours in Dialogue. Istanbul: Feshane, 2007.
  • Erdemci, Fulya, ed. Modern and Beyond. Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2007.
  • Biesenbach, Klaus. Greater New York. New York: PS1 / MoMA, 2005.
  • Eche, Charles and Vasif Kortun. 9th International Istanbul Biennial. Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation, 2005.
  • Conover, Roger. Call Me Istanbul. Karlsruhe: ZKM, 2004.
  • Mermoz, Gerard. Time Lines: Reading the City of Signs. Istanbul: Aksanat Center, 2004.
  • Cameron, Dan. Poetic Justice: The 8th International Istanbul Biennial. Istanbul: Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation, 2003.
  • Akay, Ali. 60 years 60 Artists. Istanbul: Eczacibasi, 2002.
  • Madra, Beral, eds. The Perfumed Garden. Istanbul: 49th Venice Biennial Turkish Pavilion, 2001.
  • Ronte, Dieter, eds. Under the Sign of the City: Contemporary Art from Turkey. Bonn: Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2001.
  • 49th International Venice Biennial: Plateau of Humankind. Venice: Venice Biennial, 2001.
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