Sarp Kerem Yavuz
The Last Orientalist

Anna Laudel Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf / Germany

March 16–May 29, 2021
March 18, 2021
Anna Laudel Düsseldorf
Mühlenstraße 1
40213 Düsseldorf

T +49 211 90226962
[email protected]
Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Anna Laudel Düsseldorf showcases The Last Orientalist by the Turkish artist Sarp Kerem Yavuz between March 16–May 29, 2021. Curated by Sena Çakırkaya, the exhibition deals with the political and cultural tides impacting today’s world and Turkey, the confusions surrounding identity and sexuality, and patriarchal culture. 

With the ironic meaning hidden in the title, The Last Orientalist features Yavuz's 10-year creative journey with the "Substitutes For My Father", "In the Closet", "Maşallah" and "Curse of the Forever Sultan" series.

"Substitutes For My Father"
Based on his own relationship with his father, the artist’s first series "Substitutes For My Father" is comprised of various men with different cultural backgrounds talking about their relationships with their fathers. This portrait installation, which consists of polaroids, gains a sociological aspect due to the diversity of these memories as well as the universal qualities of these relationships.

"In the Closet"
Yavuz's practice of thinking about defined gender roles continues in his series titled "In the Closet". Through private spaces shared by fellows such as vintage locker rooms of the college teams at USA and Turkish baths, the artist reflects on the similarities and contrasts in male camaraderie between two different geographical locations and societies.

In his "Maşallah" series the artist uses traditional designs and Iznik tiles from iconic monuments from the region, employing a vast archive of decorative Turkish arts as his material to take a stand on the identity definitions of the region. In these photographs, the naked male form that was historically never depicted in Islamic art comes to light under the Iznik tile motifs. 

"Curse of the Forever Sultan"
In his recent works, Yavuz addresses the politically motivated narratives of Ottoman era nostalgia. "Curse of the Forever Sultan" presents a fantastical universe set in an accursed Ottoman Empire. Works from this body of work exist as both digital and hand-made drawings, as well as neon sculptures, and digital animations.

Curated by Sena Çakırkaya, Sarp Kerem Yavuz’s solo exhibition The Last Orientalist featuring artist’s brand new works as well as the recent ones, will be on display at Anna Laudel Düsseldorf until May 29, 2021. 

*Content of the press release is taken from the concept note of The Last Orientalist written by Sena Çakırkaya.

About Sarp Kerem Yavuz
Born in Paris in 1991 and raised in Istanbul, he works primarily with photography, light projection, neon, and drawing. His works explore gender, politics, religion, and violence. He is the recipient of several international accolades and became the youngest artist to exhibit and be included in the permanent collection of the Istanbul Modern Museum. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the JPMorgan Chase Collection, the Soho House Collection in Istanbul and New York. He has participated in over 30 exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad such as Amman, Chicago, Dubai, New York, and Venice. He currently lives and works between New York and Istanbul.

About Sena Çakırkaya
Sena Çakırkaya is a curator and art writer based in Frankfurt and Istanbul. She earned the right to a master's degree in Cultural Studies with her thesis on institutional critique in contemporary art. She started working at the curatorial department of Istanbul Modern in 2010. From 2012 to 2016, she was head of the photography department. She writes articles and makes interviews for various art publications and newspapers. She has curated many exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad.

Anna Laudel accepts visitors by appointment as part of the preventive health measures. Please contact the gallery to make an appointment for a visit.

For further information and press enquiries please contact: funda.kucukyilmaz [​at​] / T +90 (0) 533 496 4814