Video installation criticizes the concept of otherization
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULApr 23, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Apr 23, 2015 12:00 am
"I read her work as a kind of visual poetry that employs both feminist and cultural activism with psychological and political messages," said American art critic and historian Robert C. Morgan in his review of artist İpek Duben's work: video art, sculptures, installations and painting. Duben's latest multi-screen video installation at SALT Galata will scrutinize concepts of the "other," and how it is perceived in Turkish society from next Tuesday to June 28.
Coming from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, the installation called "Others" introduces 24 people. They appear on different screens and share their personal stories. There are Kurds, Alevis, Jews, Armenians and Muslim women wearing headscarves, and women violated by their husbands, discussing their traumas and life as if they were at a round table meeting. Duben's work gathers a wide range of perspectives under the same roof. The installation comprises two distinct zones - each containing a group of three projections along with a range of independently placed screens. All characters speak in the presence of the audience and talk about specific concerns such as discrimination based on religion, domestic violence and gender inequality. Duben encourages a dialogue between people who rarely have a chance to speak with each other. On independent screens, each character tells a story. A murmur of languages including Kurdish, Ladino, Greek and Turkish resonate in the background.
Duben's interest in the concept of the "other" and "outsider" began with her research on the perception of the West toward Turks and their preconceptions. She gathered her findings in another installation "What is a Turk?" (2013), covering a video and a collection of 30 postcards. Her multimedia installations focus on memory, identity, immigration and sexism. Duben has degrees from the University of Chicago, the New York Studio School and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.