Catch Esra Gülmen live at #KDY on 15 March at 6:00 PM IST. Register now for her talk, if you haven’t already.
Esra Gülmen is a Berlin-based artist from Turkey. As a genuine witness and observer of her zeitgeist, Esra Gülmen generates contemporary iconography of the here and now in response to visual culture, and in the present, while, in relation to the past, she uses a form and creative language all her own. She develops a playful, ironic practice by carving out and revealing the “embedded notions” of social codes, the human condition, our inner voice and, needless to say, our insights and daily obsessions. Intending to torpedo the ideal in contemporary art, such as irony and parody, her gestures move between fields, at times travelling along the boundaries of sculpture and painting. Gülmen’s language of artistic expression addresses the viewer at eye level. Consequently, the “sublimity of painting” loses relevance in her works. Text, image or form operate democratically as intermediaries of her works, depending on the context. This attitude of hers can be regarded as the rawest reflection of the changing moods of modern humans, going beyond the impeccable and the ideal, moving closer to “the real.” Seeking to render what can be known into something more perceivable, by making the image more visual, or text more comprehensible, Gülmen illustrates possible states of being outside “the great show.” Challenging oppressive forms, the fetishism of meaning, and the burden of references, she calls us to revisit our questions concerning the raison d’être of art.