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09 Feb 2011

Hussein Chalayan: 'Proximity Sensors' at Galerist, Istanbul

Visual: Hussein Chalayan, 'I Am Sad Leyla / Üzgünüm Leyla', C-type photograph, 2010



February 24 – March 26 2011 Opening: February 24, 19.00–21.00 Monday - Friday 10.00 - 18.00 / Saturday 12.00 - 18.00

Doris Benhalegua Karako
+90 212 244 8230
+90 212 244 8229

GALERIST Galatasaray
Istiklal Caddesi Mısır Apt 164 / 4
34340, Istanbul

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Galerist will host artist and fashion designer Hussein Chalayan's 'Proximity Sensors' exhibition from February 24th to March 26th, 2011.

This important exhibition will be the world presentation of Chalayan's sculpture, video and sound installations entitled 'Proximity Sensors'. In addition to the works produced for Hussein Chalayan's third solo show at Galerist, Turkish audiences will be able to view 'I Am Sad Leyla', an installation piece which looks at music as a cultural form and debuted at the Lisson Gallery in London last October.

In new work 'Imminence of Desire' Chalayan examines Istanbul's place within a cultural and historical context. Few cities in the world are as multifaceted and have been historically desired by so many cultures as Istanbul. Chalayan believes that in both past and present the city is constantly in a state of flux. Over thousands of years Istanbul has had over approximately 150 names. Each name reflects a particular culture's attachment to the city. Remarkably diverse cultures have at one time or another made claim to the city's identity and asserted their own idea of what the city represents.

With the new installation of 'Imminence of Change' Chalayan delves into iconic hair and make up styles from over the past century. With the use of video, sculpture and robotics the piece evolves from one style to the next. The subtle shifts in the movement of the installation draws sharp contrasts between styles allowing the audience come to their own conclusions about identity and aesthetic.

'I Am Sad Leyla' is a nuanced combination of audio, film, sculpture and musical notation that creates a 'disembodied experience' of a performance of a traditional Turkish classical composition by Sertab Erener, one of Turkey's most successful female singers, accompanied by an Ottoman orchestra. Here Chalayan examines the experience of music as layered, exploring both the sounds created by different instruments, and the diverse cultural influences on the composition, which include Persian poetry and Greek orthodox chanting.

With 'Imminence of Desire', Chalayan refers to the past and to the past cultures of Istanbul, with 'Imminence of Change', he studies different hair and makeup styles over decades, and finally with 'I Am Sad Leyla', he brings up questions about music and the past from a perspective of the present.


Born in 1970 in Cyprus, Hussein Chalayan graduated from Central St. Martins in 1993. His degree collection was bought by the iconic multibrand boutique Browns in London, which launched him as a signficant fashion force. In 1994 Chalayan opened his own label and by 2002 moved his London based fashion shows to Paris. He was the recipient of the UK Designer of the Year award in 1999 and 2000. Chalayan's work has been exhibited in the most important museums and galleries in the world, including the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art New York, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. In 2005, Chalayan had a 10 year retrospective exhibition in the Gröninger Museum of Holland and in the same year he represented Turkey in the Venice Biennial.

A retrospective of his video, design and installations of the last 16 years exhibited at the Design Museum, London in 2009 and was also presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, as well as the Istanbul Modern last year.