Twice into the Stream: MELTEM IŞIK

2 - 31 March 2012

The complexity that originates from the capability of our bodies to see and be seen simultaneously, reaches to the essence of the idea behind the series “Twice into the stream”. Meltem Işık approaches the ordinary human body in a spirit of inquiry, and explores how we see ourselves in connection with how our body is seen and perceived by others. The series is formed around the impossibility of seeing oneself as a complete figure without the help of external devices such as mirrors and photographs, which to a certain extent shape the notion we have of our own body images. Looking at ourselves what we can see with our bare eyes is a headless body, a restricted view from neck down, with the extended difficulty of seeing our back. Throughout the series, Işık searches for a diverse and intriguing set of relationships between these parts we see and the whole. Some body parts printed on the fabric that the model holds have purely formal connections to the whole figure, while others rely more on meaning, and sometimes become suggestive, implying alternative ways of reading their sum. She also tries to communicate something intrinsic about the personality of the models, how they relate to their own bodies, by having them look at themselves, rather than straight into the camera; this way their attention is automatically introverted. The participation of each individual model offers different opportunities to the artist with their unique bodies, individual personalities, varying capabilities of movement, and traces of life and age on their skins, as well as the rules they bring to the table about which parts of their body can and cannot be photographed.


For the installation at Galeri Nev, Meltem Işık intends to create an intimate atmosphere by surrounding the viewer with the life size images (210 x 140 cm) of these naked bodies, and establish a non-hierarchical relationship between the viewer and the work. By carrying what is private into public space, she generates a push and pull between a feeling of intimacy and the violation of this intimacy.