Tessellation Make Up

Zilberman, Istanbul / Turkey

September 10, 2012

September 15–October 23, 2012
Opening: September 14, 6:30pm

Galeri Zilberman
İstiklal Caddesi Mısır Apt.
No 163 K: 3 D: 10
Beyoğlu İstanbul 34430

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Gallery Zilberman presents the exhibition titled Tessellation Make Up, which includes twelve artists with origins from the Middle East and Turkey: Afra Bin Dhaher, Al Fadhil, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Babak Kazemi, Ilgin Seymen, Niloufar Banisadr, Shadia Alem, Sherin Guirguis, Shirin Abu Shaqra, Maitha Demithan, Sadegh Tirafkan, and Taravat Talepasand. The exhibition is curated by Janet Bellotto. 

Tessellation Make Up expands beyond the literal meaning of tessellation – a two dimensional image created with a repeated geometric shape – and looks at how the artist’s process and ideas reveal its own dimensional plane and pattern. The selected artworks range from photography, videography, and mixed-media, and convey a range of artistic strategies. Pattern-alignments occur as the artists examine and reflect in various degrees on their social and political experiences, through memory, history, and personal identity. 

Within this exhibition there is an inclination to build or reconstruct stories and places from a layering of images, as in Kazemi’s work where he uses manipulated mobile photos of his hometown. Guirguis is inspired by the Mokattum mountains of Egypt, where the layers of color and cut-out mashrabiya patterns are a reflection on the history and stories of this site.

Al Fadhil’s video “Good Morning Babylon” reveals a performance at the Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Here the artist performs a minimal act in front of the displaced blue tiled structure. He offers a moment of reflection and yet questions what remains of a people when memory and history are taken away or destroyed. The recollection of memory – between personal and collective – is approached through many of the works in the exhibition. Yossri Daydban’s  ”Subtitles” series, juxtaposing language and media image, reflects on relationships and translation due to context. Ilgin Seymen takes a critical approach to collective memory and presents an obsessive mapping of logos, which viewers can interpret.

Details in Talepasand’s intricate drawings with a keffiyah, and Sadegh Tirafkan’s photomontages of Persian-like carpets, may seem traditional and ornamental at first sight. However, their concerns both engage contemporary social anxieties explored through formal juxtapositions and layers in the work.

The process of transforming layers into a new image, by tiling and photomontage, is a predominant characteristic within the works by Shadia Alem, Shirin Abu Shaqra, Niloufar Banisadr, Afra Bin Dhaher, and Maitha Demithan, which extends from current discourse of photography-based work from the Middle East. Maitha Demithan’s scanography works are created through hundreds of tiled scans of a child in an embellished red dress as a way to reconstruct a memory. Shadia Alem’s series “Supreme Ka’ba of God” is inspired from the changing landscape of her birthplace. A tessellation of glass and steel constructions is tiled around the Holy Mosque of Mecca. The questioning and affect of change is posed by the artist, and weaves through many of the artworks in Tessellation Make Up, drawing parallels to the stories of now.