gözde ilkin & erdal duman

gözde ilkin & erdal duman

11.09 - 25.11.2017

artSümer is pleased to present the inaugural exhibition in its new space, Gözde İlkin’s “Absent Demonstrations,” with Erdal Duman’s “Casus Belli,” from September 11 to November 25, 2017.

Gözde İlkin’s show titled “Absent Demonstrations” focuses on social relationships at times of conflict and the possibility to find new methods to transform and create new practices of coexistence. Her stories portray associations shaped by time-place and relationships against promises that fail to reach a solution and at uncanny times. “Absent Demonstrations” series consists of found stained fabrics collected between 2015-2017. İlkin uses painting and stitching to create a ground where the fabric, the material and the form host each other. As in the past, the fabric is her stage, the figures are anonymous and amorphic, and the content is political, albeit subtly and quietly so.

“Casus Belli” is a play on words. It is, by definition, the reason used to justify war. In Turkish it means “apparent spy.” This wordplay is typical to Duman’s work. Also typical are references to war and to that which is concealed or hidden. Duman’s works hints at the ways in which people are the ultimate machine of war. The human mind, for Duman, is the scariest weapon; it is the weapon most capable of manipulation and lies, and the weapon which masterminds all others. In his past works he aestheticized and abstracted bombs and guns and human bones, (as representative of the primal weapon), he made a oversized sculpture of a pointer finger, referencing the power and violence in accusations and allegations. In “Casus Belli” he delves further into a conceptual realm which alludes to the dehumanization of and caused by war.

Ilkin’s and Duman’s works are aesthetically opposed. Ilkin works with fabrics, paints and stitching, and Duman with materials like metal, glass and polyester. But, woven together the works become a patchwork representation of subversive reactions to our increasingly militarized world. They point to a world in which people have become numbers, and populations faceless—the ironies of humankind’s use and abuse of nature and natural elements run throughout. They also speak to our complicity in it, to the heightened levels of fear and suspicion, and to the embedded and everywhere unknowns of today’s threats.