November 3 – November 27, 2022
Houris and Travelers, the first solo show by nci Eviner at the gallery, is on view courtesy of Dirimart. Reenactment of Heaven (2018), a two-channel video installation by the artist that was previously on display at the Liverpool Biennial and will be seen for the first time in Turkey, is included in the exhibition along with Travelers (2022), a new installation of ceramic sculptures, in a format that encourages visitors to explore the works on view. The functioning of the authority’s body politics and its undetectable effects on us are traced by Eviner, who approaches the body as both a space of emancipation and a field of study. In Eviner’s movies, the body itself transforms into a battlefield in an ongoing war to free itself from the meanings and symbols it is burdened with.It transforms into representational figures that both embody and undermine systems of representation. In the drawings that the artist places at the core of her profession as her way of thinking, all of these figures come to life. These drawings develop into photographs, installations, paintings, sculptures, moving images, and other media as part of the visual vocabulary the artist has developed over the years, creating a fresh, multidimensional entity that is articulated to each of her productions. Eviner thinks about the spaces between an image’s meaning and its corresponding term.In order to dissolve the bounds of identification, she creates moving pictures of the image, the word, the text, and the dance. She does this by continually exploring new possibilities in order to provide room for the unanticipated, resulting in choreography that is just on the cusp of improvisation. The artist is interested in the discourses that the authority continuously constructs on customs and our ways of life in order to influence our feelings and thoughts.In her movie Reenactment of Heaven, Eviner juxtaposes two earthly and heavenly sceneries and flows to explore the relationship between belief system and economy. She makes us watch Istanbul’s well-known metropolitan environment in the upper portion of the video from a rooftop, providing a wide-angle gaze at the hours between sunrise and dusk. In the meantime, we observe the “houris” moving in a timeless, everlasting order on the stationary lower portion of the movie. The artist wants to investigate how politics connect with promises, crimes, atonements, and seductions between the everyday and religious illusions in this piece.
In the installation Travelers, we encounter a different world where creatures who are human-animal hybrids and resemble mythological figures have been arranged in a way that alludes to human movement. In this instance, the artist is referring to the interconnections between macro and micro scale community movements like caravans, hegira, pilgrimages, transit passages, migrations, celebrations, parades, and pride marches that are tied to politics, culture, economy, and religion. Extant ancient iconography and the tachiste motions distinctive to Eviner’s drawings and paintings are integrated into the work, which emphasizes on mass movement as a human concept independent of geography and historical periods.
İnci Eviner (b. 1956, Polatlı). Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. She received her MFA from the Mimar Sinan University. In 2019, she represented Turkey at the 58th Venice Biennale, Pavilion of Turkey. In 2016, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art organized a comprehensive retrospective of Eviner’s work. Among her exhibitions to date are Drawing Center, New York (2015); Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (2011); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); MAC/VAL and Vitry-sur-Seine (2009). Other exhibitions and biennials she participated in are British Museum, London (2019–2020); Hayward Gallery, Southbank Center, London (2018–2019); Liverpool Biennial (2018); Q21 Exhibition Space, Museums Quartier Wien (2018); Gwangju Biennale (2018); Municipal Museum of Jena (2018) and 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013). Eviner who was awarded the 13th Sharjah Biennial Art Prize in 2017 has been invited to numerous artist residencies including Headlands Center for the Arts, California (2017), Rauschenberg Foundation, Florida (2017); SAM Art Projects (2010); Leube, Salzburg (2005) and Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Como (2000). Eviner’s works are included in important international collections such as Deutsche Bank Collection, Centre Pompidou Paris, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Arter, Guggenheim New York and TBA21 Vienna. She is a lecturer at Kadir Has University, Faculty of Art and Design. She lives and works in Istanbul.