V&A showcases Şükran Moral work

V&A showcases Şükran Moral work

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
V&A showcases Şükran Moral work

In ‘Despair,’ brightly-colored birds perch on a group of migrant workers huddled in a boat. It is a part of the V&A Museum’s permanent collection.

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum opened its first major exhibition of contemporary photography from and about the Middle East yesterday, titled “Light from the Middle East: New Photography.” The show features over 90 pieces by some of the most exciting artists from across the region, including Turkish video artist Şükran Moral, whose “Despair” is also a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibition explores the ways in which the selected artists investigate the language and techniques of photography. Some use the camera to record or bear witness, while others subvert that process to reveal how surprisingly unreliable a photograph can be. The work ranges from documentary photographs and highly staged tableaux to images manipulated beyond recognition. The variety of approaches is appropriate to the complexities of a vast and diverse region.

“Light from the Middle East” is divided into three sections: recording, reframing and resisting, each of which focuses on a different approach to the medium of photography.

Şükran Moral works in photography, sculpture, video and performance, creating bold and often controversial pieces that critique society and its institutions. Violence against women is a major theme. She has also created pieces on other groups lacking societal power, including the mentally ill, children, immigrants and prostitutes.

In her work “Despair,” the brightly-colored birds – what Moral calls “digital nightingales” – perch on a group of migrant workers huddled in a boat. According to the artist, in Turkish literature nightingales are a symbol of hope, love and separation. The men and boys are shown in black-and-white at the mercy of their situation. The birds, however, are free to fly away.

The exhibition runs through April 2013.