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We, Elsewhere By İnci Eviner On View In The Pavilion Of Turkey At The 58th International Art Exhibition Of La Biennale Di Venezia

May 13, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

“They would not let us in, and so we rose, indignant, from below. But we found we had left behind, all the way down there, fragments from an arm, a leg, another half, a flank. There lies the reason for the cripple’s limp in our step, the shiver in our crawl, the hiccough in our speech, the stutter in our coupling.”

                                                                                  Orhan Pamuk, from the book of We, Elsewhere, 2019

We, Elsewhere, a new work by İnci Eviner is presented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, to be held from 11 May through 24 November 2019. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and sponsored by Fiat, the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Sale d’Armi in Arsenale, which is one of the main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia.

A multidisciplinary architectural installation takes viewers from Venice to elsewhere

Designed as an architectural installation, We, Elsewhere is an investigation into the spaces that we create and are created for us as a result of collective displacements and how subjects who find themselves in these spaces react and interact with one another. Reconfigured objects and characters crafted by Eviner evoke the sense of a search for the missing, the erased and that which is elsewhere. The exhibition outlines a space in which subjects hear their own voices in a moment of transition and re-formation somewhere between the unrevisability of their histories and the fragility of the unknown, between optimism and despair.

The space uses different levels of aural and visual elements such as drawing, moving image, sculpture, sound and performance, interacting with one another in order to insinuate the workings of a device. The visitors are invited to walk along ramps, courtyards and edges of the space, which displays permeability, allowing views through cuts and cracks in the walls. Together, the characters, the space and the paths tell a story akin to Hannah Arendt’s narrative of struggles in We Refugees.

İnci Eviner explains: “It seems as if some people are in search of their minds, their repressed emotions and gestures, their unfinished stories scattered among the layers of this stage split in half, thinking that only by collecting these they will shape themselves as a subject. As all this happens, I try to both include and exclude myself from these events in order to bear witness. The responsibility of being a witness requires the questioning of being us.”

Eviner’s practice, which spans various media to focus on questions of subjectivity, investigates how the individual’s corporeality shapes their psyche and behaviour. She sets up the architectural component in We, Elsewhere like a stage, which acts as a mediator between herself, the viewer and the characters she crafts. In this way, the characters – whose subjectivities are continuously shifting as they attempt to reinvent themselves – are projected onto the viewer. The use of repurposed elements and sections from spaces of confinement, as well as the employment of moving images tracing the outlines of characters in suspense, evokes a sense of transition. When passing through the space, viewers are confronted with their own conditioning and subject position, thereby gaining access to psyches of loss.

Space Occupiers

During the preview days of Biennale Arte 2019, Pavilion of Turkey will host Space Occupiers, live performances by Canan Yücel Pekiçten and Melih Kıraç, the performers of Inci Eviner’s work We, Elsewhere. Space Occupiers can be seen between 7-10 May throughout the days inside the Pavilion of Turkey at Sale d’Armi in Arsenale.

We, Elsewhere team

We, Elsewhere has been created by a team of contributors. Curator Zeynep Öz has contributed to the idea formation and preparation process, as well as the book of We, Elsewhere. The architectural design of the project was created by Birge Yıldırım Okta and Gürkan Okta, whereas the sound design is by Tolga Tüzün. Sequences from the video, which will surround the viewer in a continuous appearance and disappearance effect on the walls of the structure, will include the performance artists Canan Yücel PekiçtenMelih Kıraç and Gülden Arsal Yavuz. Director of photography of the video is Aydın Sarıoğlu and the video post-production team includes Cem Gökçimen and Cem Perin.

The exhibition’s visual identity and the book that accompanies the exhibition are designed by Okay Karadayılar and Ali Taptık (ONAGÖRE). The book features texts by the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, curator Zeynep Öz, and a conversation piece between İnci Eviner and Istanbul Biennial and İKSV’s Contemporary Art Projects Director Bige Örer. The book will be available in a bilingual format – English and Turkish – at the opening of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia and will then be distributed by Yapı Kredi Publications in selected bookstores.

İnci Eviner

İnci Eviner’s work usually takes drawing as a starting point and comprises a large body of multi-layered pieces that range from drawing and video to performative and collaborative practices. Eviner explores the formation of subjectivity, and her work touches on the workings of power and the politics of representation, especially with regards to the female body. The complex set of relations that Eviner forms between video technologies and drawings tradition proposes a different kind of perception.

She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions worldwide. She has been invited to participate in numerous biennials including the Gwangju Biennial (2018), Liverpool Biennial (2018),Sharjah Biennial (2017), Aichi Triennale (2016), Istanbul Biennial (2013 and 2005), Thessaloniki Biennale (2013), Asian Art Biennial (2013), Busan Biennale (2010), Shanghai Biennale (2008) and Venice Biennale (1997). Among the museums where her works have been exhibited are the Drawing Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille and Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.

Eviner was a winner of the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2017), and she was an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for Art (California, 2017), Rauschenberg Foundation (Florida, 2017), SAM Art Projects (Paris, 2010), Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (Vitry-sur-Seine, 2009), Cité internationalé des Arts (Paris, 2008) and International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York, 2004-2005).

Eviner is also a lecturer at Kadir Has University, Faculty of Art and Design. She lives and works in Istanbul where she is represented by Galeri Nev Istanbul.

Pavilion of Turkey at La Biennale di Venezia

The Advisory Board of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia consists of Serhan Ada from Bilgi University, Department of Arts and Cultural Management, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprises General Manager Özalp Birol, curator and Art Advisor at Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Paolo Colombo, Prof. Dr. Zeynep İnankur from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western and Contemporary Art and curator at Arter Başak Doğa Temür.

The Pavilion of Turkey at the Biennale Arte 2019 is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and realised through the sponsorship of Fiat, with the production and publication support of SAHA Association, the contribution of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The exhibition is realised with the contribution of VitrA. The masks in the exhibition are produced by Gorbon Tiles. The Pavilion of Turkey’s long-term venue opened at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the venue in Sale d’Armi, Arsenale with İKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.

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