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Die Schublade, 2019

Webcam Sex Ghost, 2019, 75x89cm, Mixed media on fabric, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria

The body of work emerges from very traditional and local stories that happened and are still happening in our world, there as well as here. Humans are born to move, to move forward, to face prejudice and conservative conservative obstacles and – ideally – to jump them over.

The composition of works is a statement that examines the origins of a practice that is sensitive to the pressure and violence that patriarchal, authoritarian and heteronormative societal codes exert in order to subordinate what is different and where it is heading.
A recurring reference is fabric and textiles in various forms but always as a connection to tradition and to home and thus as a representation of social norms.

Webcam Sex Ghost and Die Schublade take their inspiration from the traditional Middle Eastern duvet (known in German as Steppdecke). 
Webcam Sex Ghost is divided into two parts: a dark room, in which an uncanny scene, observing a queer figure partaking in webcam sex, is depicted. This painting is an invitation to think about the backstage of each happening. The part below symbolizes the private, unseen, hidden part of this person, which is traditional and inherently attached to this person’s “other life”. 
The mixed media fabric collage Die Schublade tells about a mother who has recently discovered her son’s identity. The rainbow that flows over the traditional duvet reflects on and illustrates the content.  

The Turkish saying “Bir yastıkta kocasınlar” (“May they grow old on a pillow”) is told to newlyweds before they lay their heads on a long, shared pillow in the traditional marriage bed on the first evening of their marriage. Underneath is inspired by this Turkish dowry. It is one big pillow and usually has a length of 160cm. The idea behind this is that the married couple stays together until death separates them. The two patterned pillow bodies embracing each other stand for a model of partnership in which two people commit themselves to each other without giving up their freedom, individuality and autonomy.

Die Schublade, 2019, 180×140 cm, Mixed media on fabric, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria

Evil Eye, 2019, 128x109x4.5cm, Mixed media on fabric, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria

Evil Eye and Junction portray the stories of two women and their unique paths. Both works thematize politically manipulated social polarization.

The scarf tightened around the heads of two women going in opposite directions in Junction shows the tensions hanging in the air of Turkish society and the difficulty of breaking away from where you are taught to belong. The photographs of the series TrabZone are engaged in re-enactments of memories from childhood summers.

The feminine social sphere is also captured in Playing with water gun. The photo shows a young woman hiding herself like a ghost behind the closet, under a hand-crocheted bed frame decoration. On the right side of the image a female figure is hunting her with a water gun in her hand. The place is a violent, red bedroom, and the props are selected from a typical Middle Eastern dowry chest. This photography is about marriage and its potential social status. 

While all other works have a humorous bent, Torn is very serious. Torn is a collaborative work with Didem Görkem Geçit. A piece of cloth is hung on a clothesline, a fabric with which a friend of the family hid opposition members during the military coup in 1980. Didem, a transwoman, was attacked in the open street and stabbed in the neck. This brutality and violence against the supposed “other” is countered in Torn with the fabric as a symbol of solidarity, preservation and care. With her performance to the camera she offers us a way to develop empathy related to murders of women without categorizing their sexual orientation. 

Nilbar Güreş
Edited by: Katharina Ehrl

Underneath, 2019, 115x72x18cm, Fabric, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria
Junction , 2010, 100x150cm, C-Print, Courtesy of the Artist, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria

Playing with a Watergun, 2010, 100x180cm, C-Print, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria
Torn, 2018, In collaboration with Didem Görkem Geçit, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria
Torn, 2018, In collaboration with Didem Görkem Geçit, Courtesy of the Artist and Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey & Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna, Austria, Installation view

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