Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of the Arts


Brief Biography

Cemren Altan is a bilingual (English/French) art history teacher and researcher on art and culture for students in higher education in France and various International Universities. She holds a PhD in art history and an MA degree in sociology.

She has combined these two disciplines to develop a transversal and multidisciplinary approach to artistic creation. In her professional career, she has   developed the study of the relationship between art and new technologies, as well as the study of the relationship between art and visual communication. As a curator, Altan collaborated on Contemporary art exhibitions in France, in Turkey and the International art scene.

  • Among her bilingual articles addressing the question of the image's relationship to historical context and cultural politics are:

    - "Populism and Peasant Iconography," Middle Eastern Studies, London, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2005, pp. 547-560;

    - Visual Narration of a Nation", Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, ASEN, London School of Economics, London, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004, pp. 2-17.

    She has also written several bilingual texts, dealing with art exhibitions using new technologies (virtual images, also addressing the different forms of expression that computer-generated images allow, multimedia installations, NetArt, etc.). Notably :

    - Miguel CHEVALIER. Fractal Flowers in Vitro, Istanbul, Fractal Flowers, Imal, Belgium, "Art and new technologies", 2009, 2010.

    - Body of Synthesis, BODIG, Enghien Les Bains, 2010.

    - Nil YALTER, French Institute of Istanbul, On the way to contemporaneity, ACEV, 2006.

    Selected publications and conference papers:

    2010, Fractal Flowers, Miguel Chevalier, Imal, Belgium.

    2007 Edition of the catalogue of 100 young visual and performing artists, Art4Lux, 2007, Luxembourg.

    2006 “On the way to contemporary”, text of the exhibition catalogue of Nil Yalter.

    2005 “ Populism and Peasant Iconography”, Middle Eastern Studies, London, Vol. 41, No. 4, July, pp. 547-560.

    2004 “ Visual Narration of a Nation “, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, ASEN, London School of Economics, Vol. 4, No: 2, pp. 2-17.

    2006 « Art criticisms in the middle east  », Paper presented ‘ Art critic among the plural identities’, University of Yildiz, IFEA, Istanbul.

    2004 « Cultural politics in Turkey », IFEA (Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes, Istanbul. 

    2003 « Istanbul 1900, Orientalisme et modernité » Paper presented ‘ L’experience d’atelier Sisli (1917-1918) et l’exposition à Vienne ’, Institut Français d’Etude Anatoliennes (IFEA), Istanbul. 

    2002 « Visualising power, state and nation » Paper presented : ‘ Iconic expression of Turkish identity ’, International Association of Visual Sociology (IVSA), Santorini. 

    2001 « State and people » Paper presented : ‘ Images of peasants and Turkish identity ‘, B.R.I.S.M.E.S, University of Edinburgh. 

    1999 « Nation and culture », Paper presented : « European influence in Turkish painting », University of Lisbon, Faculty of Letters.

  • 1995-2001 Ph.D. , I.N.AL.C.O (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales), Paris.

    C. Altan completed her Phd. in Paris, (2001) in (Art) History at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations. Her thesis is entitled “Visual Narration of a Nation : The development of painting and nationalism in Turkey”.  The thesis is about a study of the relationship between nationalism and aesthetic transformations in the republic. The main question is the relationship between the modernization projects of the state and adaptation of European techniques in art.

    1994- 1995 MA degree, University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne.

    1989-1993 MA degree, Department of Sociology, English medium, Bosphorus

    University, Istanbul

Research Interest

Altan’s research activity focuses on the political and social functions of the image, on the relationship between art and the cultural policy of states, and on contemporary artistic languages, especially art and new technologies.

She is currently working on a project that aims to construct a field of research and artistic production in order to promote an eco-sensitive and 'friendly' way of living. The key theme is elaboration of a research of intersection point between ecology, aesthetics and ethics which is briefly expressed in the term ‘ECO-EST-HE-THIQUE (S)’ in French : Responsable- Eco - Aesthetic (s).