Left: Ni̇lbar Güreş, BERF, from the series “Open Phone Booth,” 2011. C-print 108 x 150 cm. Courtesy the artist and Rampa. Right: Nevi̇n Aladağ, Paravent, Social Fabric #3, 2013. Collage with carpet on wood with metal frame, 180 x 285 x 4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Rampa.
14–17 October 2015
Şair Nadim Caddesi No: 21a
For the 13th edition of Frieze London (2015), Rampa Istanbul will show a duo presentation of works by Nevin Aladağ (b. 1972, Van) and Nilbar Güreş (b. 1977, Istanbul).
Nevin Aladağ breaks down ideas connected to authorship like gender binaries and cultural norms through re-appropriation. Through these acts of re-appropriation (of objects, actors, shapes, types, words, etc.), she is no longer an omniscient author: she breaks free of the restraints of authorship by turning authorship on itself, taking something and hiding or changing it just enough to blur lines. Aladağ often adds an element of surprise or randomness to what otherwise seems very structured and predictable—so as to ask, “who is the author?” In her Paravent, Social Fabric #3, 2013, for example, there are her scrupulous lines which, while abstract, feel near formulaic, rendered visible by an eclectic and non-specific array of carpets. She calls it a collage. The carpet pieces are from everywhere and nowhere in particular—they have no one place of origin—while in Paravent, lines and patterns are moving the eye everywhere at once, not even allowing our eye to find a place of origin. Aladağ’s “Pattern Matching” series, which uses the shapes and lines of a basketball court, again with those originless but orientalized carpets. It’s another work which breaks down binaries (home and the outside world, women’s roles and men’s roles, East and West), and devalues and questions authorship and, as such, predetermined truths.
Nilbar Güreş’s subject travels and floats, querying spaces and language and identities—in Looking for the Image (2011), a photograph from her “Open Phone Booth” series (2007–14), or in her video Wolf and Lamb (2011), a beautiful, crafted scene imbibed with Güreş’s aesthetic of these otherworldly moments. But then, in the title for Looking for the Image, we have this play on words and this world within a world. We see our presumed subject searching for their image or subject until, suddenly, all subjecthood is lost. This plays into Güreş’s desire, generally, to navigate what it means to be out of place, tourist in your own “home,” voyeur in your own work. In Beyond Beauty (2015), you see imagery similar to the kind found in her videos and photographs. The background is a stage, full of association (here based on color and fabric), and her additions are pointed but also feel almost perfunctory. The story and the subject are unclear.
Güreş’s works have a naiveté, courageousness, and a form of rebellion. From her collages to her videos, there is a distinct quality of ordered chaos. Aladağ’s works, on the other hand, have a formalism, countered by her use of specific materials or mediums. While there is not much, if anything, in common between the two artists aesthetcially, what they do share is the performative: shown together, their works become a kind of philosophical and questioning seesaw made by their respective aesthetic prowess.
The avoidance of answering the question of subject for Güreş and the question of author for Aladağ is precisely their point, and the breakdown of subject and author for each artist represents an entry point into their respective oeuvres. Rampa Istanbul’s presentation at Frieze London 2015 is a look at the ways in which both Güreş and Aladağ, through many media and throughout their careers, have dealt with these questions.
Nevin Aladağ (b. 1972, Van) studied sculpture at the Academie of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2002, she moved to Berlin to complete her residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien. She lives and works in Berlin. Her installations, video works and performances have shown at numerous international Museums and Biennials, including ATOPOLIS (cur. Dirk Snauwaert), Manège de Sury, Mons (2015); Kunsthalle Basel (2014-15); Art Space Pythagorion, Samos-Greece (2014); The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2014); Sharjah Biennale (2013); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, MOT (2011); Haus der Kunst Munich (2011); The Hayward Gallery, London (2010); XIV Biennale Internazionale di Scultura, Carrara (2010); The 11th İstanbul Biennial (2009); The Al-Mamal Foundation, Jerusalem (2009); OPEN ev+a, Limerick (2009); U-TURN, Quadrennial for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2008); and the 8th Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2008). Aladağ had her first solo show at Rampa in 2012 and a recent solo show Diapason at Rampa in 2014.
Nilbar Güreş (b. 1977, Istanbul) received a BA degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marmara University, İstanbul, and then completed her MA degree in Painting & Graphics from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. She lives and works in Istanbul and Vienna. Some of the major exhibitions Güres participated in are Serralves Museum, Porto (2015); Malmö Konstmuseum (2015); Artspace Auckland (2015); SeMa Biennale Mediacity Seoul (2014); EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick City (2014); The 31st Bienal de São Paulo (2014); MAK, Vienna (2013); ARTER, Istanbul (2013); Akademie des Bildener Kunste Wien (2012); The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2011); 6th Berlin Biennial (2010); Secession Vienna (2010); and the 11th International İstanbul Biennial (2009). The artist’s solo exhibitions include shows at MQ, Vienna (2011); Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2011); Rampa, Istanbul (2011); Iniva, London (2010-11); Rivington Place, London (2010); and Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2009). The touring exhibition Tactics of Invisibility was previously exhibited at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2010), Tanas, Berlin (2010-11), and at ARTER, Istanbul (2011).
Nigel Rubenstein, Flint Public Relations, Istanbul
T + 90 212 241 02 14 / firstname.lastname@example.org