:mentalKLINIK
Thank You For Your Cooperation

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde

May 26, 2014

:mentalKLINIK
Thank You For Your Cooperation

May 26–July 28, 2014

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde
Street 8
Alserkal Avenue, Unit 17
Al Quoz 1
Dubai, U.A.E
P.O. Box 18217

www.ivde.net

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde is pleased to present a solo exhibition by :mentalKLINIK, an artist duo from Istanbul composed of Yasemin Baydar (b. 1972, İstanbul) and Birol Demir (b. 1967, Ankara) who began their collaborative works in 1998, forming an open laboratory to reinvent process, production and presentation. The artists resist the limitations posed by a singular vocabulary or style and craft material and digital technologies into works that are both aesthetic and experiential. Their works range from immersive time-based works and installations to sculptures and objects that thwart categorization. Within our consumer society the vocabulary of marketing plays a significant role in shaping today’s identity and so the artists adopt these iconic visuals and rhetoric to reflect on such conventions. By uncoupling materials from everyday life to create new aesthetic forms they introduce the awkward, alien and uncanny into the exhibition space, forcing viewers to more carefully consider their own material surroundings.  

:mentalKLINIK plays with colorful reflective surfaces, billboard-type signs and rhetorical operations to explore new languages and alternative textures of pleasure. By drawing on these elements as the subject and medium of their work, the duo appears to collaborate with the capitalist project they seek to challenge.

This exhibition presents a fragment of a highly mediated world that absorbs our complex identities and relationships into flattened text and imagery. :mentalKLINIK tackles this phenomenon in hyper-realistic textual portraits that reflect and translate the individual’s preoccupation with creating their self-image. Although the titles of many works refer to individuals, including WALKING ON AIR, HANDE and SIMON, their materials are stark. These sculptures made of ‘anodized aluminum’ and ‘thermopane glass’ reflect our highly active yet increasingly banal and often virtual public personae. 

The works in the PROFILE  series lean against the wall, and function as a hyper-real ID card written in a vocabulary borrowed from user-generated profiles created for marketing entities like Starbucks or Facebook. Phrases such as “FASCIST-OPENLY GAY-DOGMATIC-WHITE COLLAR-ANIMAL LOVER-SUBMISSIVE-ELITIST” are semi-legible, stamped with micro-layered polyester film on reflective planes.

The works confront the viewer with the way people have become branded and categorized as objects, even as they embrace the challenge to visualize and create their individual profiles.

While candy-colored reflective spheres abound in this show, the spectator is captured by a soundscape of ring tones and communicative alerts. The sounds in FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), a layered, subcutaneous noise sculpture, are designed to trigger the spectator into that stand by mode of attention that we all maintain now in relation to our gadgets—at any moment, we may be called—not by a person but by the machine itself telling us that it is time…time for a meeting, time to prepare for an event, time to take a pill, to leave the house, to exercise, time to set another alert.

In the catalog introduction to the show Jack Halberstam offers an alternative route for those of us whose individual identities and social relationships have become violently transformed into immaterial capital:

“When cooperation has lost its anarchist sensibility and become a code word for selling out, it is time to dream small, make tiny adjustments and inch towards the next dream. :mentalKLINIK’s work offers us a laboratory for making, marking and inhabiting the next dream of a somewhere, an anyway, a new place to be.”

“As their name suggests, :mentalKLINIK do not attempt to return us to the regular, the normal, the sane or the rational. Rather, Thank You For Your Cooperation attempts to reveal what our new order looks like: an altered-through-the-looking-glass reality.” 

:mentalKLINIK’s experimental approach has been praised on numerous occasions, with exhibitions at the MUDAM museum in Luxemburg, at ART Unlimited in Art Basel, a retrospective curated by Jerome Sans in Istanbul in 2011 and in 2013 at MAK museum in Vienna.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by Jack Halberstam, “On Special Occasions And The Time of the Objects.” 

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Previous books include In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005), The Queer Art of Failure (2011, Duke University Press) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (2012, Beacon Press).

For further information, please contact Jules McDevitt: jules [​at​] ivde.net / T +971 (0) 4 323 5052