“Other Revolts” is an attempt to bring together works questioning the instrumentalization and legitimation of violence. Interrogation through the aesthetic experience inevitably modifies our presumptions about violence occurring in physical, systematic and institutionalized forms. In this vein, “Other Revolts” call the audience for developing new lines of thinking on resistance and intertwining these lines to spur an alternative critical discourse. The exhibition space germinates the hope to confront theoretical validations of violence in contemporary theoretical accounts, like Zizek’s notion of emancipating terror, with radical doubt. Works by Mike Berg, İnci Eviner, Ali Kazma, Murat Morova, Hale Tenger and Nazif Topçuoğlu occupy different positions in this yet to be discovered territory.
As the whimsical instrumentalization of violence in contemporary politics go parallel with its glorification through varying self-righteous post-modern discourses strengthened by popular democracy, an effective critique of violence refraining from malleable claims on universality emerges as a necessity. “Other Revolts” attempts to address this necessity through juxtaposing a selection of aesthetic perspectives by the artists represented by Galeri Nev Istanbul. Juxtapositions multiply possibilities of resistance rather than eliminating differences.
Ali Kazma’s Slaughterhouse re-contextualizes violence legitimized by cultural practices rooted in religious beliefs within the capitalist mode of production through the lens of an astute observer. Quoting its title from a Lauire Anderson song “The Day The Devil”, Hale Tenger’s piece “Give Me Back My Innocence” seeks refuge from the suffocating kinship between materialistic and holy affairs like in the song through restituting fragility as another form of resistance.
As her drawings retain a constant tension between figures and sketches, merged patterns and bold contour lines, detailed textures and dripping paint, through her unique visual language İnci Eviner unravels violence rooted in discourses framing the subject with gender, culture and politics. With clear references to Gericault’s compositions, Goya’s figures and the theme of Christ’s dead body in European oil painting, Nazif Topçuoğlu twists images of mourning into confrontations with violence through bewildering the viewer’s gaze and appraising the rebellious strength of young women.
The strength of artistic gesture in Murat Morova’s photographs exalts art as an inclusive act acknowledging and transfiguring violence. Artistic experience leaves its traces as signs of artist’s dwelling on the earth to revolt against the death as disappearance. Mike Berg solidifies brush stroke like forms on metal plates, artistic gesture bounded by the moment turns into a timeless sign through saw mills, hammers and chisels.
“Other Revolutions” curated by İbrahim Cansızoğlu is on view at Galeri Nev Istanbul between July 3 to August 25 2012.