05.11. – 12.12.2015
“You are my sister, we were born
So innocent, so full of need
There were times we were friends but times I was so cruel
Each night I’d ask for you to watch me as I sleep
I was so afraid of the night
You seemed to move through the places that I feared
You lived inside my world so softly
Protected only by the kindness of your nature
You are my sister
And I love you”
Antony and Johnsons
artnivo.com will be hosting Özer Toraman’s first solo exhibition in the artnivo.com project space that opened in October. The exhibition, which takes its name from the Antony and the Johnsons song “You are my sister”, is comprised of androgynous, out-of-focus portraits that question the limits of gender identity built on societal norms, an issue the artist has been examining for some time.
Focusing on the concepts of gender, sexuality, identity and the body in the framework of queer theory, the artist questions the socio-cultural effects of gender on sex and the body. In the portraits he merges and bodies he blurs through reconsidering the categories of masculinity and femininity as shaped by body rhetoric, and using an androgynous mode of expression to blur the boundaries and surfaces of bodies realized through norms and rhetorical construct, he draws attention to the performative and indefinable nature of gender.
Toraman, who specifically uses pale pink and blue tones in this canvases, emphasizes the sharp gender-based divide individuals unwittingly enter from childhood on and suggests gender non-identity through the blurring of this divide. In Ahu Antmen’s words, “the formative role of environments separated into pink and blue color schemes that children are subjected to beginning with childhood categorize and stereotype the individual’s sexual development.” These stereotypes limit the individual and force him/her to manifest specific behaviours. By creating flawless faces in his canvases whose genders are not readable and who look the viewer directly in the eye, the artist constructs a space that deactivates all gender norms and invisible walls through communing with the canvas.
Özer Toraman’s exhibition featuring his long-term labors can be seen at artnivo.com project space until 12 December.