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Dirimart presents PARADISE ON SALE, the first solo show of the artist duo :mentalKLINIK with the gallery in its Dolapdere space from May 3 to 28, 2023.
Based metaphorically on the idea of the cancelation of utopia in the 21st century, PARADISE ON SALE is a promised land for our saturated faces, filtered bodies and extremely fragile souls caged in seductive screenscapes of this hilariously dark age.
:mentalKLINIK generously offers an ultimate confessional for the innocently sinful souls to confront the hypocrisy of capitalistic leisure by transforming the exhibition space into a massive groundless installation with shifting scents, distorting mirrors, shiny poppers, and floating screens accompanied by surrounding and directed sounds. Implemented structural features of the entertainment sector as complementing units of artworks invariably interfere with our sense of corporate expectations from an art gallery. The installation serves as a wake-up call to those who sleep beneath the mega ruins in micro times, as well as a hypertext for our hyper moods being challenged by physicality overlapping with virtuality.
Frenemy, a meta-human piece, features a computer-generated genderless character who personifies a sentiment that has no precise name to describe: a mesh of emptiness, a probable sense of inadequacy, and being lost in finding a purpose, which inevitably ends in tears. The large-scale muselet of champagne bottles floats on the mirrored confetti floor as a relic of a memorable party trapped in time-space; once a portion of the moment, now forgotten and lost beneath the synchronized party lights. Surrounded by the mirrored window films, the installation repetitively reproduces its own reality; each time distorted and rejuvenated with the temporal orientation of the reflective, sculptural panes called Double-Deal. The spectators become the spectacle when they encounter Cute Spy, the charming surveillance camera in the shape of a pet owl interacting with them through movement and eye contact. The shifting scents formulated by :mentalKLINIK Happily Dizzy and Awfully Witty attack the involuntary memory to make this experience much more permanent in the viewers’ subconscious, in collaboration with the sound installation Lunatic Poems, which are located at certain spots of the gallery space as if they are trying to jog the 21st century’s vocabulary to our memories.
Holding up a mirror to today’s frenzy and obsessions,:mentalKLINIK not only appeals to the spectators’ visual expectations, but also actively captures all of the senses to keep them awake during and after the event. In PARADISE ON SALE, :mentalKLINIK does not guarantee you a new paradise, but rather invites you to join them in celebrating the death of utopia.
Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir, an Istanbul-based artist duo, began their collaborative practice in 1998 with undisguised dexterity in bringing out the invisible political strategies and social dynamics through ultra-contemporary devices of apparent lightness. :MentalKLINIK performances, like a multifaceted disco ball, present an ambidextrous approach to their diverse universe. Their festive world defies the constraints of a single vocabulary or style. It’s playful and hedonistic, glamorous but also startling, with violence that suggests a bad trip after a wonderful party or a terrifying new beginning rising from a dead-end.
Their paintings alternate between emotive and robotic perspectives. In a climate of sensory hyperstimulation engendered by multiple neon lights, slogans, light beams, mirror balls, and confetti, the artist duo reclaims the sparkling and authoritative visual language of the media and night spheres while playing with our universal attraction to objects glittering and seductive. They urge us to a job of encryption, between the truth and the fake, the artificial and the superficial, as if everything was a case of deception.mentalKLINIK approaches process, production, roles, conception, and presentation as an open laboratory. Their works are a mash-up of oxymorons and paradoxes, darkly comic and self-contained, ranging from immersive time-based installations to sculptures and objects that defy categorization.