Pavilion of Turkey to present ‘We, elsewhere’ in Venice
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the pavilion of Turkey will be curated by Zeynep Öz and located at Sale d’Armi, which is one of the main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia.
“We, Elsewhere” is created as a site-specific installation for the exhibition and makes use of elements such as reconfigured objects as well as drawings, video, sound, and performance. It is an investigation into the spaces that we create, and are created for us as a result of collective displacement.
The exhibition ruminates on how subjects who find themselves in these spaces react and interact with one another and with their memories. Various elements of sound, reconfigured objects and characters crafted by Eviner evoke the sense of a search for the missing, the erased and that which is elsewhere.
A certain aggression and abruptness comes out in the characters’ everyday behavior informing their identities in transition. The space itself, in which visitors are invited to walk along the ramps, courtyards and edges, displays permeability, allowing views through cuts and cracks along the walls. The paths punctuated by the objects suggest the way in which memory eases conflicts. Together, the characters, the space and the paths tell a story akin to Hannah Arendt’s narrative of struggles in “We Refugees.”
At a press conference on Feb. 12, Eviner said: “These figures are constantly changing places through the space to find their other halves. This effort is actually an attempt to reclaim their interrupted and invalidated memory and bodies. In doing so, mythologies and memories, the habits of everyday life, their joy and sorrow need to be picked up one by one and put into place. I try to keep myself in and out of events to witness all of this. The responsibility of being a witness is in the questioning of being ‘us’.”
Regarding Eviner’s practice and her new work, Öz said: “Eviner uses the architectural component in ‘We, Elsewhere’ as the stage on which elements of action come together in order to think through issues of migration and confinement in shaping continuously shifting subjectivities.”
Eviner’s works are included in globally important institutional collections such as Deutsche Bank Collection, Center Pompidou in Paris, Istanbul Modern Museum, Guggenheim and TBA21 Wien. She is also a lecturer at Kadir Has University’s Faculty of Art and Design in Istanbul.