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21 January 2010 to 16 May 2010
Augarten Contemporary
In parallel to the large-scale Prince Eugene exhibition at the Lower Belvedere, Augarten Contemporary presents the show tanzimat. Artists from Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Austria address specific aspects of their respective histories of expansion and repression, as well as strategies of cultural appropriation and difference.
The term “tanzimat” comes from the Turkish language, meaning reorganization or arrangement. The Tanzimat period, which began in 1839 and is considered to have ended in 1876, with the adoption of the Ottoman Constitution, marks an era of profound change. The establishment of civil law structures coincided with a redevelopment of the language, which was reflected by a specific terminology. What is remarkable is that this process was not triggered through colonial intervention, but was initiated out of the country’s own initiative.

The exhibition makes a point of casting a differentiated glance on these emancipatory developments, thus opening a discourse that leads us back to historical events decisively influencing the advancement of European culture.