Gözde Ilkin at ArtSümer (March 2013)

Gözde Ilkin’s show at ArtSümer is now past. Ilkin usually works with fabric collages and stitchings, creating painting like works with social commentary. For her solo exhibition she created a big installation with an interesting concept – a comment on the gallery system and its mechanism; not especially a new topic, but she showed a clever and sometimes humorist handling.

tumblr_inline_mlb6xpHAhZ1qz4rgpIt was a show staggered in three parts.

At the outside a huge vinyl print covered the shop window of the gallery, stating Komplo Satiliktir (turk. for Conspiracy on sale)[but she also played with words komple satiliktir is turkish for whole sale]. Entering the gallery you had to walk through a closet. An experience like a fairy tale come true. This also marked the first part of the show: the waiting room. On the right hand side you saw pilled up furniture creating a information-stand-like structure where you would find the press release. and next to the wall a couch, inviting you to rest.

Ilkin’s installation for the second part of the show, which is at the same time the biggest and most complex section. Tables and chairs. Shelves and cabinets create a sat landscape of a chaotic merchandise. A cardboard pop up figure placed next to a table advertising the “profitable” art works of the artist. This part consists of audio tracks which sound like radio commercials. Posters of works by Ilkin are pinned to the wall and covered in buzzwords like gelecek vizyona (vision of the future) or müsteri memnuniyeti önemlidir (customer satisfaction is important). All those posters are endued with virtual stamps stating that these are certificates of authenticity.

In the cabinets we find objects collected by the artist and altered by coloring. On the couch – at the end of the merchandise section of the show –  Ilkin presents smaller works of hers. Those tissue-sized pieces of fabric had small stitchings of planes, tanks and soldiers. Those appear in bright colors in contrast to their violent nature. Right across from these a poster offering school equipment. Pencil case, eraser, pencil, pen etc. All covered with symbols of destruction. Next to it a four panel educational board with prints of the seasons. Each panel is an “everyday” scenery with additional violent or alarming manipulations by the artist.

In the last part we had the actual exhibition of Ilkin’s works. A clean white gallery space with pieces, that you saw in the posters.

Gözde Ilkin tried to show the machinery behind the art market and in particular the gallery system. By creating the advertisement for her own work she attempted to comment on the process of selling. She intended to subduct the gallery from its “responsibilities”. A complicated task that ended in an experiment which reduced the actual art works to a padding of a clever installation.

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written by Patrick C. Haas

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M.A. of art history, lives and works in Cologne and Bonn

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