Tufan Acil studied Philosophy and Architecture at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara / Turkey. Later, he was awarded by the scholarship of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for his master studies in Hamburg and Marburg, finishing with a thesis on Hegels Concept of Freedom in his Philosophy of Right. As a fellow of the international research training group InterArt at Freie Universitaet Berlin and at Goldsmiths College (London), he held a scholarship from German Research Institut (DFG) and completed his PhD thesis, titled Transgressions and Convergences: A practice-based Aesthetics. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow of Dahlem Research School HONORS program in Berlin. His publications include: Affekte als Einteilungskriterium der Künste, in: produktion – AFFEKTION – Rezeption, Berlin 2014; Grenzüberschreitungen in (der) Kunst: Eine praxisbezogene Ästhetik, Bielefeld 2017.
Speaking of a cultural mixture or fusion presumes the existence of "pure" cultures, which are unmixed i.e., uniformly and homogeneously structured. However, the diversity of ethical, social or aesthetic values of the individuals living in a given culture points clearly to the impossibility of homogeneous and pure cultures. This working session focuses on the art and aesthetics of the Turkish-Germans in order to demonstrate the irreducibility of their aesthetic and cultural values to the pre-existing forms. Special consideration on the "making art" of Turkish descents living in Germany prevents us to think their social, aesthetic and cultural values just as a combination or mixture of past Turkish culture and current German culture. Emerging out of a state of cultural in-betweenness, the art has for them rather a crucial role to play in understanding the transformation and constitution of newly emerging cultural form as Turkish-German.
His research project at the Johns Hopkins University focuses generally on the role of artistic practice for Turkish descent living in Germany and of the ongoing constitution and stabilization of their new cultural identity as Turkish-German that resides “in-between”, that is to say, between nostalgia for a Turkish culture and present German culture. It gives special attention to different works and performances produced by many Turkish-German artists, examines the way they deal with the stereotypes prevalent in German society. The project refers to different Turkish-German artists who (re)appropriate existing stereotypes productively in their productions and at the same time surpass them in an effective way. By (re)appropriating the existing stereotypes, Turkish-German artists do not only go beyond them in an effective way, but also contribute to the transformation and creation of new cultural values within Turkish-German communities.