21 Kasım 2010 Pazar


Exploring new ways to see reality, Bengü Karaduman’s first solo show in Turkey is currently on display at the Outlet Independent Art Space in İstanbul’s Tophane neighborhood.

Featuring “three layers of reality,” the show, titled “Buradayım” (I Am Here), focuses on the realities of daily life in the first part of the gallery, while the second part pertains to dreams and constitutes an interpretation of the first part. Finally, the third section concentrates on the perceptions of individuals.

Based in İstanbul, Karaduman has been producing silhouette works with digital animations since 2007. Previously her animations had been made with paper cuttings. The video portion of the first part of the exhibition, which is projected on layers of crisscrossing lines made of elastic strings, features various silhouettes of everyday activities, such as shopping and office work. “These are scenes from our daily lives, and they are there whether or not we exist as individuals. We do not have any effect on them,” Karaduman says in an interview with Today’s Zaman. The white screen consists of segmented layers because all these parts of life happen in parallel ways at the same time. “While watching TV, you also talk with your mother on the phone and at the same time a bomb explodes somewhere, etc. It is very hard to express all these in a linear way, so I decided on using this kind of a surface,” she notes.

The basement floor features the layer of dreams through another silhouette video work, which includes shadows of small sculptures depicting three scenes from Karaduman’s dreams, together with a voice recording. “I believe that dreams are also a way of thinking, another form of reality. It is a layer we put ourselves in. In the first scene I am in a spaceship and looking for my home because I have lost it. In the second one, there is a curator in front of me and he says, ‘It is going perfectly, Bengü,’ and he wants to celebrate my success with champagne, but the cork hits me in the face. It is both a reward and punishment. The last one is about facing your true self. I am sitting in front of a mirror,” she explains, adding that she has been drawing her dreams for the last two years and that these three scenes were the most vivid she saw this summer.

Images of chairs appear frequently in Karaduman’s art pieces. Asked about the significance of this form, she says that it must be related to searching for her own place. Mirrors are another medium she uses for her installations. In the last portion of the show, the spectator can only read the sentence “I am here,” the name of the show, by looking in a mirror, since it is written backwards on the wall. “The perception constructs another reality. If it is negative, for instance, for a plan about the future, the thing may really turn out negative or, if it is positive, you can transform it into something positive. I try to say that your perspective constructs your reality here,” she concludes.

A graduate of the costume design and set decoration department of Mimar Sinan University, Karaduman studied visual arts in Germany, concentrating on video installations. “Gradually I started to use space more and more and, especially with this exhibition, I used video together with space. I used to do three-dimensional works in the past, too, but in this one I included sculptures with the video work, merging the two,” she explains.

Having held solo exhibitions in countries such as Austria and Denmark, Karaduman also joined a group exhibition titled “Coup” last year at the Outlet Independent Art Space that was also showcased at the Diyarbakır Art Center in September. Her current exhibition will run through Dec. 18 in Tophane. For further information, visit www.bengue.tv

Rumeysa Kiger

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