Spanning 40 years of artistic practice, the exhibition at SALT Beyoğlu due to open on September 10, 2013 will trace the artist’s personal story which is intricately interwoven with Turkey’s recent political history.
Gülsün Karamustafa is an internationally renowned artist whose varied practice encompasses painting, collage, printmaking, photography, video and installation. The artist addresses itinerant identities through the narratives of displacement, locality, gender and cultural differences.
A politically active figure, Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946) was imprisoned after the coup d’état of 1971 and did not retrieve her passport until 1986, an experience that had a resounding impact on her practice. During the 1970s until the early 1980s she portrayed figures who represented changes in material and visual culture as a result of intensive migration from rural Turkey to its major cities, especially Istanbul.
Active in the local movie industry in the 1980s, Karamustafa’s experience as a director and art director allowed her to accumulate observations, images and ephemera that influenced a shift in her production from painting to sculptural interventions, in turn inspiring her later collages, tapestries and installations.
In the 1990s, her practice transitioned to reflect upon personal stories about Turkey’s social and cultural memory. Starting in early 2000s, Karamustafa began experimenting with video, focusing on neglected communities in Istanbul.