Birken iki

birken iki, 2021

Interactive installation, 28 walnut wood printing stencils in variable size and workbench 90*110*200

…The artists researching Istanbul’s flora found plants endemic to the city and focused on those that are threatened by extinction because of the mega projects taking place in the Northern Forests. They drew 28 selected plants and produced stamps of these drawings. With these stamps that will be used in a performance which will take place every day of the exhibition at certain time slots, a print will be prepared as a gift to the visitors so that the image of these plants on the verge of extinction will be reproduced and they will spread back to the city through the visitor.  Kevser Güler

Installation view; Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat, Istanbul
photos 1,2,3,4,5,6,7: Flufoto, Istanbul
8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15: Nazlı Erdemirel

List of plants:

Centaurea hermannii F.Hermann
Peygamber çiçeği

Ballota nigra L. subsp. anatolica P. H. DAVIS
Yalancı Isırgan

Allium istanbulense Özhatay, Koçyigit, Brullo & Salmeri
İstanbul soğanı

Tripleurospermum conoclinium (Boiss. & Bal.) Hayek
Akpapatya

Lathyrus undulatus Boiss.
İstanbul nazendesi

Erysimum aznavourii Candargy
Boğaz zarifesi

Cephalaria tuteliana Kuş & Göktürk
Sultan pelemiri

Cirsium byzantinum Steud.
Hoşkangal

Isatis arenaria AZN.
Kelebekotu

Linum tauricum Willd. subsp. bosphori P.H. Davis
Boğaziçi keteni

Centaurea kilaea Boiss.
Kilyosdüğmesi

Crocus pestalozzae Boiss.
Ümraniye çiğdemi

Asperula littoralis Sm.
Kum belumotu

Colchicum micranthum Boiss.
Narin acıçiğdem

Dianthus cibrarius Clem.
Al karanfil

Onosma Proponticum Azn.
Kum Emziği – Marmara emzikotu

Crocus olivieri Gay subsp.Istanbulensis Mathew
İstanbul Çiğdemi

Verbascum degenii Hall.
Sığırkuyruğu

Symphytum pseudobulbosum Azn.
Karakafesotu

Bupleurum pendikum Snogerup
Pendik şeytanayağı

Galanthus plicatus BIEB. subsp. byzantinus (BAKER) D. A. WEBB
İstanbul Kardeleni

Asplenium obovatum var. protobillotii Demiriz, Viane & Reichst.
Asplenium obovatum var. deltoideum Demiriz, Viane & Reichst.

Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae (Turrill) Stace
Has Zerena, Zerena, Sütleğen

Silene sangaria Coode & Cullen
Karadeniz salkımı

Colchicum lingulatum Boiss. & Spruner
Kalkgit

Onosma x bornmuelleri Husskn. & Bornm.
Amasya sincarı

Taraxacum aznavourii van Soest.
Has hindiba

Herself/Himself

Herself/Himself, 2021

Screen print on acrylic glass
each; 46*76 cm

“Herself/Himself” is a self-portrait project that consists of two stencil rulers which are made with the cross-sections of the artists’ bodies from top to the bottom, and it is about the experience of isolation during the pandemic.

As we are in constant communication with our surroundings, the experience of very limited interaction with others– both visual and tactile, didn’t just create a distance to the other things but as well as to the self. With limited interaction, most of the definitions of the self that are created by the relations with the surroundings got lost. Paradoxically, this happened at a time when we were by ourselves more than ever.

“Herself/Himself” is an outcome of this paradoxical situation. It attempts to reposition one’s self in new circumstances and underlines the isolation by materializing the body. This repositioning creates a space to contemplate whether the new circumstances provide a closer look or further distancing of understanding ourselves.

photos 1,15,16,17: Nazlı Erdemirel

Smell of Linden… Feels like Home

SKETCHES FOR AN IMMIGRATION MONUMENT AT ZOLLVEREIN

SMELL OF LINDEN… FEELS LIKE HOME

COAL—TREE

Main material of coal is plants and transformation of plants into coal takes hundreds of millions of years.

The fact that trees are one of the main constituents from which the coal originates, has been an important factor for us to choose a tree as the material of our project. Trees are life forms and unlike a coal mine (energy from below feeds the world above), they take their energy from the sun and convey it to the underground, in other words, they formally constitute a cycle, which supported our idea of a tree as the main material of the monument.

Besides, the idea that plants—giving us their beauty, fragrance, fruits—can be transformed into coal in millions of years given the right conditions, is an aspect that conceptually highlights the circular relation between the project and its installation location.

LINDEN

Once we decided to use a tree as the main material of the monument, the next important issue has been to select the type of tree. Linden, a member of monumental trees family, with its significant place in mythology, its historical and physical characteristics, its perseverance enabling it to live ages, highly impressed us. Another reason to choose linden has certainly been the fact that today in Germany the oldest tree is a 1200 years old linden.

With its healing qualities, beauties it exhibits, pleasant fragrance, linden has been considered as a sacred tree throughout ages by many civilizations. Thanks to its fragrant flowers and shade, it used to be the favourable tree planted on village squares of Central Europe. People used to organize festivals, set up open markets, hold wedding banquets, even trials under linden trees. On the other hand, linden tree is the symbol of home and hospitality. In short, this mighty monumental tree witnessed many incidences and meetings in its shade throughout history.

COMMUNAL LIFE

The project deals with the common story of hundreds of thousands of labourers who have been a part of Germany’s labour force since the 1960s. Away from home, in an alien geography, unknown culture and language, those labourers shared common spaces. They managed to live together, with all their differences, they shared a common ground: empathy.

In the frame of this project, we aim to gather again, symbolically, labourers who once worked in German coal industry came to work from mainly Turkey (%74), but also from former Yugoslavia, Italy, Morocco, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Austria, South Korea, France, Tunisia, respectively.

SMELL OF LINDEN… FEELS LIKE HOME

The project will comprise of taking linden saplings (11 saplings from 11 countries) from motherlands of tens of thousands of labourers who once worked in German mines, to the Ruhr Museum, Zeche Zollverein in Essen city of Germany and grafting them to a regional winter linden tree. Together with the German mother linden tree they will be 12; they will be intertwined, united in one body. Linden saplings, coming from different geographies, with different characteristics, living together in one body conceptually gives reference to the communal life founded in Germany. Visual and fragrant harmony created in time by twelve different linden trees, will host a shade spot where people would gather; this shade, as it did in history, will present itself to us as a space for our memories, talks, celebrations, stories.

ROAD

And the path opening to the linden tree will point to one of the trajectories of many labourers from Turkey to Germany on their way to join the labour force. And the visitors, crossing the projection of this migration route, will head for the monument.

BENCH

A circular bench, divided to two by the route, to be placed right under the linden tree, will invite visitors to spend some time under the tree together.

LOCATION

As the location of the project, we plan the green space in front of the main gate to the mine, a place that once functioned as the main entrance-exit of the labourers of the time. This location, once being the place where the labourers were welcomed, and today would welcome the museum visitors, can be considered as a “greeting” place.

PICKING FLOWERS

Every June, flowers of the monumental tree harbouring 12 different lindens will be picked and put in packets to be designed by artists. Visitors of the Ruhr Museum, Zeche Zollverein will have a chance to enjoy the crossbred brew of this monumental tree.

Thus, flowers of the monumental tree that represent the communal life of tens of thousands of labourers who once left their homes to work in a foreign country, will enter other homes to accompany other myriads of stories.

Installation view; Ruhr Museum, Essen
photo 15: Andrea Kiesendahl, ©Ruhr Museum

The Picture Before the Picture

The Picture Before the Picture, 2019

wall painting, dimensions variable

The starting point of the wall piece “The Picture Before the Picture” (2019) is the playful surface of the digital: Colour surfaces reminiscent of screens or artistic colour studies. Behind this, as is often the case in the duo’s work, lies a threatening fact. These are abstract color images that appear as placeholders when searching for images on the Internet before the final image is loaded from the computer. Previously, Günyol & Kunt entered the word “Google” into the search mask and added another word suggested by the program. This resulted in the combination “Google+Facebook+Twitter+News+Election+Voters+Targeted+Ads+Fake News” and the abstract representation in color fields. “The Picture Before the Picture” refers to the current discussion about the inadmissible influence of fake news on elections on the Internet. At the same time, the work refers to the attractive component of digital surfaces whose strategic intentions often remain hidden and cannot be read as such by the recipient. Mathilda Legemah

Installation view; Kunstfenster im BDI
photos 2,3,4,5,6: Alexander Grennigloh

Prohibited Letters

Prohibited Letters, 2019-ongoing
video installation
digital video, loop

The work departs from slogans prohibited from the street by the Istanbul Governorate during the 1 May demonstrations of 2018. In this video, we watch endless meanderings of letter groupings that are banned from gathering in a certain organized way, in a void. The video preserves the potential of the letters to suddenly come together to form words, and the words to form sentences.

Installation view; Dirimart, Istanbul
photo: Nazlı Erdemirel

video sample 3
video sample 2
video sample 1

Mr. Bertelli, you are right. The profile still continues.

Mr. Bertelli, you are right. The profile still continues., 2019

sculpture
stainless steel
29×27.9×27.9 cm
wooden pedestal: 35x35x145 cm

Bust of Mussolini produced by Bertelli in 1933 was constructed by circumvolving the dictator’s profile 360° thus describing him as a godly eye that can look and see in all directions, and control everything around him. The bust trying to control everything around by continuously turning his head (in fact, the work is produced on a turning lathe) becomes mechanized and insensitized, completely devoid of human feelings and expressions. The head gets insensitized as it accelerates, it accelerates as it gets insensitized, gets mechanized detaching itself from humans and all vulnerabilities pertaining to them. The sculpture depicts the dictator so well that Mussolini declared it as his official bust.

Mr Bertelli, you are right. The profile still continues. is a reconsideration of Bertelli’s sculpture after eighty-five years. In this work, the understanding represented by the living profile of Mussolini depicted with Bertelli’s Continous Profile gives way to an anonymous skull continuously turning and harming around.

Installation view; Dirimart, Istanbul
photo: Nazlı Erdemirel

Untitled

Untitled, 2019 – ongoing project

fine art print on Hahnemühle photo rag ultra smooth 305 g/m² mounted on alu-dibond 150×225 cm

Each painting in the Untitled series contains the pleading of one of the journalists who is under arrest or prosecuted due to his/her articles.

Installation view; Dirimart, Istanbul
photo: Nazlı Erdemirel

M

M, 2019

artist book
365 pages, b/w offset print 10×15 cm

M is a book designed in small dictionary format, a 365-page diary; its pages are filled with words taken from a pool of words obtained from headlines and the first pages of various widely circulated daily national newspapers in Turkey, throughout 2018. “M” also refers to “medya” [media], “manşet” [headline], and “manipülasyon” [manipulation] in Turkish.

photos: Nazlı Erdemirel

Deadlock

Deadlock, 2019

painted stainless steel
each letter; 3×10 cm, installation dimensions are variable

Deadlock rings in our ears as the answer of Donald Rumsfeld to a question regarding the alleged weapons in Iraq in 2002, using the central column of the gallery and the words KNOWN and UNKNOWN revolving around it. Using the four-edged structure of the column, the words keep turning and turning around the edges within an endless cycle/chase. This cycle consisting of plus and minus poles opens the work to various combinations of reading.

known known

known unknown

unknown unknown

unknown known

Installation view; Dirimart, Istanbul
photo: Nazlı Erdemirel

There are things you don’t know that we know

There are things you don’t know that we know, 2019

installation
print on newspaper paper 67×1820 cm

There are things you don’t know that we know detaches letters from 32 daily Turkish newspaper names, maintaining their styles to use them as material for newly constructed sentence. The visual aesthetic of the sentence is composed by letters with different fonts, recalling a construct we know from crime movies: in those movies the character, trying to avoid leaving a trace uses letters he/she cuts from magazines, newspapers, instead of using his/her handwriting.

Installation view; Dirimart, Istanbul
photos 1-7: Nazlı Erdemirel, 8-12: Günyol&Kunt