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M.B. (Mehmet) Sülek

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Capaciteitsgroep Kunstgeschiedenis

  • Turfdraagsterpad 15
  • Postbus 94551
    1090 GN Amsterdam
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  • Bio

    Mehmet is a PhD Candidate in Art History, specializing in  Contemporary Art History and Historiography.  He holds a BA in Film Studies from the Yeditepe University (TR)  and an MA in History of Art (Distinction) from the  University of Leeds (UK).  In his MA dissertation, supervised by Prof Griselda Pollock,  he analysed 14th Istanbul Biennial: SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms(2015) as a Warburgian project. His PhD project investigates the role of large-scale exhibition both for writing and dissemination of contemporary art history and to what extent Warburg's methodology can help us to understand the historiographic challenges caused by the shift from museum-based art history to temporary exhibition-based art history. His project is supervised by Prof. Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes and Dr. Miriam van Rijsingen.

    His research interests are as follows:

    • historiography and theory of art and architecture

    • Legacy of Aby Warburg, his circle, and subsequently Warburg Institute in Art History and Humanities

    • Contemporary Art and Curation

    • Phenomenology of Architecture

    • Memory Studies

    • Urban Humanities

    In August 2020, he co-founded PNSA- Postgraduate Network for the Study of Art Historiography with fellow PhD Candidates from the Netherlands, US, UK, Switzerland, and Germany.  The network aims to organize reading groups, seminars, and annual conferences. Currently, there is one active reading group, which meets twice a month. If you would like to become a member, please email Mehmet (m.b.sulek@uva.nl) or leave a message in the website:  https://isarthistory.wordpress.com/

  • Conferences

    'Tell me whom you haunt and I tell you who you are': Aby Warburg, Memory and Artistic Practices in the 21st Century' at Witnessing, Memory, and Crisis AHM Annual Conference 2022, organized and hosted by University of Amsterdam (June, 2022)

    'The Biennial Effect: From Comparative Art History to Art History of Cultural Transfers' at  Art Exhibitions as intersections in Post War Europe  Conference, hosted by Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (May, 2022)

    'Thinking Empathy in Biennials and Art History Again' at Association for Art History’s 48th Annual Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London (April, 2022)

    ‘Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas (1927-1929) as a Proto Research-Creation’ at UAAC- Universities Art Association Canada Conference ( October, 2021)

    'Warburg Redux: Anachronistic Narratives of Mnemosyne Atlas (1927-1929) and Biennials' at  Turn Back Now? Anachronies, temporal, and chronological layering in visual arts, organized by Institute of Contemporary Art and Media, Catholic Private University Linz (September, 2021)

    ‘Between Art History and Urban Studies: Biennials as a Challenge and an Opportunity for Art Historiography’, Making of Humanities IX Conference, organized by Society for the History of Humanities, hosted by Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) (September, 2021)

    [Co-organizer] Queering the Boundaries of the Arts in the Sinosphere Conference, jointly hosted by Institute of Art History and Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich (May, 2021)


  • Publications

    'The Geological Metaphor and Multiplicity of Time in Aby Warburg's Thinking and Postmodern Era', kunsttexte.de (forthcoming)

    'On the inclusion of children, documenta 15' (Review), Art&Education,  https://www.artandeducation.net/schoolwatch/489907/field-notes-on-the-inclusion-of-children-documenta-15

    'Remembering Armenian Genocide: Michael Rakowitz's The flesh is yours, the bones are ours (2015), Espace, no.132, pp.26-36

    ''Tell me whom you haunt and I tell you who you are': Aby Warburg, Memory and Artistic Practices in the 21st Century' , Witnessing, Memory, and Crisis AHM Annual Conference Proceedings, https://www.aup-online.com/content/papers/10.5117/9789048557578/AHM.2022.009

    ‘Why do we need Aby Warburg today? Or, is image memory a bodily senstion?’, Third Text Online, www.thirdtext.org/sulek-warburg, 16 September 2021

  • PNSA-Postgraduate Network for the Study of Art Historiography

    How do we do art history? In recent decades, art history’s transactions with visual studies, cultural studies, the digital humanities, and cognitive science have challenged the discipline’s foundational methods. Accompanying these shifts is a renewed interest in art historiography as a subject of study in its own right: scholars are infusing methods thought to be obsolete with new life. There has been a growing interest in the early 20th century scholarship (Warburg, Riegl), and the writings of neglected art historians such as Carl Einstein and Andre Jolles are being translated into English for the first time. Additionally, new research strands such as Digital Art History and Neuroarthistory have arisen. While these developments are changing the course of art history, scholars currently have limited platforms for having focussed and sustained conversations about them.

    This network’s aim is to provide a global platform for art historians to have long-term, robust conversations on both the past and the future of their discipline.

    The network has several objectives:

    1- Organizing Seminar Series

    We are currently working on a program of seminar series. Although this program will be open to all, there will be a preset number of participants. As a member of the network, your seat will be reserved at all times.

    2- Organizing Conferences

    We aim to organize annual PNSA Conferences with various themes. In addition to this, there will be opportunities to organize smaller and more focused PNSA-related events.


    3- PhD-In-Progress Symposiums

    We all know that PhD is a daunting and solitary process. Many PhD students have psychological issues and deal with imposter syndrome. In our network, to overcome these problems, we want to organize PhD-In-Progress Symposiums to discuss and talk about our PhD projects in a friendly and relaxed environment.

    4- Organizing Reading Groups

    We have one active Core Reading Group, currently with a focus on the Vienna School. This focus will change periodically.

    Please see the website  (PNSA) for the details or email m.b.sulek@uva.nl

  • Publicaties


    • Saloul, I., Hansen, A. S., Deim, R., Grabowski, D., Sülek, M., & van der Naaten, J. (Eds.) (2022). AHM 2022 : Witnessing, Memory and Crisis: AHM Annual Conference 2022 : Proceedings for the annual conference hosted by the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) : June 30-July 2, 2022, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. (History, Culture, and Heritage). Amsterdam University Press. [details]
    • Sülek, M. (2022). ''Tell me whom you haunt and I tell you who you are'': Aby Warburg, Memory and Artistic Practices in the 21st Century. In I. Saloul, A. S. Hansen, R. Deim, D. Grabowski, M. Sülek, & J. van der Naaten (Eds.), AHM 2022 : Witnessing, Memory and Crisis: AHM Annual Conference 2022 : Proceedings for the annual conference hosted by the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) : June 30-July 2, 2022, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (pp. 65-72). (History, Culture, and Heritage). Amsterdam University Press. https://doi.org/10.5117/9789048557578/AHM.2022.009 [details]




    • Schjøtt , A. (organiser), Deim, R. (organiser), Sülek, M. (organiser) & Grabowski, D. (organiser) (30-6-2022 - 2-7-2022). AHM Conference 2022: ‘Witnessing, Memory, and Crisis’, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
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