Arter, where I took shelter from Istiklal Street’s huddled and noisy state, is hosting a silent looking exhibition, housing wildest of storms inside: “Envy, Enmity, Embarrasment.”
Curated by Emre Baykal, the exhibition features works of Selim Birsel, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, CANAN, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Merve Ertufan & Johanna Adebäck, Nilbar Güreş, Berat Işık, Şener Özmen, Yusuf Sevinçli, Erdem Taşdelen, Hale Tenger and Mahir Yavuz.
One of the most sensational pieces seem to be deliberately placed at the entrance of Arter. “I know people like this III – Boyle Tanidiklarim Var III” by Hale Tenger, so to speak displays a radiogram of entire Turkey. And within this labyrinth, serving as an archival passage, we find; the murdered journalists, events of September 6th-7th, Saturday Mothers and many more stains of Turkey’s story… Dated from recent to past, you end up buried in the depths of history. As this happens, though, you remember less and perhaps the overall effect loses its strength.
Two poles entwined from the ground to the ceiling follow the tremor you feel at the end of this labyrinth. This piece, the “Bayragindan Kacan Direk – The Pole that ran away from its Flag” is by Şener Özmen. It is a question with no answer – why these two flagless poles are entwined. Although you get the feeling of a friendly hug at the start, the work also resembles two enemies burning with enmitiy.
The photography exhibition “Put” by Yusuf Sevinçli also has an interesting side. We see photographs of vandalized statues and monuments found in public sphere. It of course seems as an attempt to documentation at start, yet the artist’s real intent is to cause reactions to this act.
Another work by Hera Büyüktaşcıyan upstairs is “Ada-The Island”. A carpet, a chair and a mound under the carpet. The light on the carpet and the nostalgic appearance of the chair takes the viewer through a travel in time. The mound is, on the other hand, both interesting and perhaps frightening.
One of the most interesting pieces in the exhibition is by CANAN. When the words “Enmity” and “Disgrace” are used, we immediately think of a duality. We see these dualities and their reflections/replications in works of CANAN in the exhibition. “Yalvaririm Bana Asktan Soz Etme – I Beg You, do not Speak of Love” placed in a room by itself, displays porn posters from titles of 70’s. In the middle of the room, inside a white sphere there sits a bathrobe. Movie stars of the time ornament the walls. Some already passed away and some left the country. In another piece by CANAN, “Seffaf Oda – Transparent Room” we see a female body, subjected to violence. It is undeniable that these two evoke solidarity, through female body.