Galeri Nev İstanbul is excited to announce the opening of its new venue in Karaköy with Inci Eviner’s inaugural exhibition Beneath the Horizon. The exhibition presents Eviner’s two recent video works for the first time in Istanbul, following their international reception in Aichi Triennial and Sharjah Biennial.
In her Istanbul Modern retrospective in 2016, Inci Eviner has added a new dimension to her practice by incorporating space in her multilayered works of drawing, video, and performance. As a new phase of this presentational form, Beneath the Horizon highlights a different constellation of Eviner’s creative process. With the design of this particular exhibition, the artist aims to reflect onto the exhibition space a series of artistic practices that continuously condition, affect and transform one another. She invites the spectator to perceive the show as much corporally as visually.
The architectural arrangement, which is designed by the artist through additions to the gallery space and named as in between area, articulates new relations between the different stages of her creation process such as the imaginary place in her videos and the drawing experience. At the same time, the in between area constitutes a subjective dystopian space for the spectator beneath the horizon fictionalized in the video. This semi-isolated area transforms the space itself into a metaphor as an underground shelter.
Inspired by similar resources but manifesting themselves differently, the two videos on display in the gallery space can be perceived together, separately or simply by the meeting of their voices, which offers a creative exhibition experience for the audience.
The first video, Ordinary Condition, a three-channel work commissioned by Aichi Triennial in 2016, pulls spectators out of the safe flow of daily life and locks them into an endless, anxious continuity. The artist makes sensible a world in which trust strays from us more and more every day and disasters persist outside of our control, while the worst danger remains getting used to all this. Ordinary Condition reveals how violence, normalized by paralyzing consciousness, emerges out of a gap stuck between dream and reality, earth and underground. The broken glass pieces being swept away after a bomb explosion and the people having picnic at a park are actors who share the same temporality.
The other video in the show, Beuys Underground, has won the artist the 13th Sharjah Biennial Art Prize in 2016. The video originates from an eponymous drawing of Eviner dated 2011, and depicts a dystopia. The artist reconstructs the tension-filled contemporary political environment by projecting it to an unknown time and place. In the community she imagines, memory is erased as a consequence of the destruction of the other with cruelty and oppression.
Looking for ways to cope with the disaster, people turn to hard work underground in order to create a new world for themselves by recreating all the notions, concepts and languages anew by taking point of departure in art history. They work on metaphors and symbols to restructure them. Their aim is to bring forth the necessary conditions for creating a society. This is why they try to mend the disconnection between the language and the object. In this endeavor, they fall prey to many traps. Thus they hope to benefit from the healing powers of Beuys, their most trusted figure in the history of art. Beuys tries to get into touch with the society imprisoned under the horizon.
In her multi-layered video work that combines drawings with video shots, Eviner tests the boundaries of imagination with the icons of art. The underground people attempt to overcome the tension between image and representation, between image and language. In order to visualize this, the artist creates a conflict zone with her drawings where life and art history confront each other. Our mind feels obligated to save itself from the underground space of oppression into which it is pushed, and to form a different resistance strategy to enhance the world and our experience of the world.
Among the situations that urgently need to be defined by these underground individuals are: justice, laughter, clouds, headscarf, family, woman, drum, soldier, nurse, death, sculpture, separation, jealousy, hearing, mosque, Atatürk Cultural Center, Persian vase, love, cypress tree, and so on.