The MdbK exhibition “Displacements/ Entortungen” initiates a dialogue between the oeuvre of the two internationally renowned artists Ayşe Erkmen (Istanbul) and Mona Hatoum (Beirut) in an unprecedented joint exhibition. Both Erkmen’s and Hatoum’s artistic vantage point is their reflection about the specifics of a place, and the connected questions of politics and society.
International Archives 2nd half of 2017
Exhibition November 18, 2017 -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2017. All Rights Reserved
Ayşe Erkmen, Glassworks, Installation View, Cadhame Halle Verriere, Meisenthal, Frankreich, 2015 © Ayşe Erkmen
Mona Hatoum, Hot Spot III, 2009
Both artists integrate historical contexts of place in their art, and each finds unique processes of reflection about personal as well as global issues. The MdbK exhibition centers around the leitmotif of displacement. This entails the political dimension of being displaced, as well as the psychological dimension of displacing unconscious emotions, and a third dimension of undergoing a transformation as an artist.
The width of the leitmotif touches upon a multitude of formal, personal and contextual aspects of art. Ayşe Erkmen conjures the peculiarities of specific places in her art installations, thereby mirroring social, topographical and cultural resources, as well as the institutional framework within which the installations are created. Erkmen resists extensive dwellings on stylistic questions, but instead she retains a unique artistic position that is related to place. In turn, Mona Hatoum gathers inspiration in the dimensions of space and her immediate environment. She makes use of the term ‘displacement’ in its sense of alienation and bewilderment. Her work features everyday objects in altered and enlarged shape, producing a picture of reality that is uncanny and antagonistic. Hatoum presents a world of disorientation and vulnerability, charged with conflict and opposites.
The artistic common ground of Erkmen and Hatoum can be found in the artists’ reinvention of familiar means of expression: through giving new connotations to standard material, their oeuvre adopts larger realms of interpretive meaning.