International exhibitions

International Archives 2nd half of 2014

Nilbar Güres

BTV F.O.KU.S, Innsbruck (Austria)

27.11.2014 - 18.01.2015

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Nilbar Güres, BTV F.O.KU.S, Innsbruck

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2014. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 27 November 2014 -18 January 2015. BTV FO.KU.S, Foto Kunst Stadtforum Bank Für Tirol und Vorarlberg AG, Stadtforum 1 - 6020 Innsbruck (Austria). Tel. : +43 (0)5 05 333 1409. Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 11am-3pm.



The titles of the series "TrabZONE" (2010) and "Çirçir" (2010) refer to the two places Güres associates with childhood memories; Trabzon, the Turkish city by the Black Sea, and Çirçir, which is located at the outskirts of Istanbul. For "TrabZONE," Güres visited her "protagonists" in the rural hills close to the city. In Junction, she positions an elderly and a younger woman in front of two signposts that merge into a symbolic crossroads of sorts. In the four-part work Beekeeper, Güres uses the female beekeeper's bizarre protective wear for her scenarios of disguise and display, of presence and absence. The clothes partially take on a life of their own, virtually becoming sculptures, or they get entangled in the trees as if the wearer flew out a long time ago. In "Çirçir"in front of and inside an abandoned house, which formerly belonged to Güres's extended family and had to make way for a tunnelGüres gathers a number of women from different social milieus that pose for a "prissy" group picture titled A Family Portrait outside the house; different personalities, different generations in different styles of dress. Güres, however, introduces a disruptive element: There are too many hands in the picture that belong to figures hiding behind the women; they provide an additional humorous and cryptic undertone to the female "family idyll." In Overhead she shifts the scene to the interior of the house: An elderly barefooted woman seems to effortlessly carry a gigantic pile of bedding, blankets and pillows on her hands which almost reaches the ceiling, hiding her faceanother symbol for the balancing act of a woman's life between domestic bliss and obligatory burden.

Nilbar Güres has a lucid eye for the symbolic in everyday occurrences. An outstanding creative force manifests in her performances, photographs, collages or sculptures to transcend the seemingly profane and to lift it to a rebellious and both lyrical and sensual level while negotiating structure-related themes as well. She accomplishes this not least through her profound knowledge and appreciation of the professional, artisanal or more extensive everyday-aesthetic contexts her female protagonists originate from, and above all by a committed and sensitive engagement with the persons for whom she creates spaces. The fascination exuded by Güres's art is partly due to minutely detailedsomewhat always vivid and pictorialsubtle arrangements as well as her interactive approach in directing her female "performers" whom she involves in her emancipatory counter-concepts with empathy and imagination. In this respect her works are also political allegories for societies in transition.

Press Release

In her art Nilbar Güres explores cultural identities, the concomitant cultural and socially induced normalisation processes, and at the same time questions the suppressed as well as phantasmatic undersides of these rules. Güres addresses the clichés of the visibility of women in society in order to draw up provocative counter-images for them in which she subverts traditionalist role assignments while bringing into play the resistance of Western society towards the dress codes of religion-dominated cultures. In large-sized photographs, similar to film stills, she constructs what seem to be everyday situations in which she plants irritating elements by employing lyrical ingenuity and critical witticism. Under her subversive dramaturgy, images that depict ostensibly familiar, conventional female contexts of life, become puzzling, sometimes dreamlike scenarios which are frequently charged with an abundance of (homo)eroticism.

Nilbar Güres, YOL AYRIMI TrabZONE SERİSİ'nden / JUNCTION, 2010. C-print, 100 x 150 cm. From the "TrabZONE" series.

Nilbar Güres, YOL AYRIMI TrabZONE SERİSİ'nden / JUNCTION, 2010. C-print, 100 x 150 cm. From the "TrabZONE" series.