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26 May 2014

Mehtap Baydu: A Tale of Shahmaran at BERLINARTPROJECTS

Mehtap Baydu, Osman, 2014

A Tale of Shahmaran


May 30th 6 pm | Performance 8 pm
30.05. - 5.05.14
Opening times: 10 am - 6 pm

Jennifer Fielding
0049 (0) 30 240 87 606-0

Mehringdamm 33
10961 Berlin

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BERLINARTPROJECTS is pleased to host the first solo exhibition of the artist Mehtap Baydu, 'The Tale of Shahmaran', which will feature a performance at the opening. The focus of the exhibition lies on the act of performing and the cosmos that the artist creates around it. Shahmaran, an allegorical hybrid creature from Kurdish mythology, refers to the embodiment of a woman, a stranger, a lover, a marginal and the other and therefore symbolizes open-ended personifications. Fiction stories, invented characters and everyday life materials such as clothes, food, sayings and her body are inspirational ingredients for her work. These socio-cultural elements are composed to reflect on diverse geographical backgrounds and the meaning of cultural artefacts as well as their various readings. Driven by the search for a feminist narrative her work challenges patriarchal structures, social norms and immigration politics and develops fictional stories.

In an attempt to portray people's stories in an artistic, social and political context, Baydu works with a wide range of material and medium. While the main emphasis of her work is on performance, she also uses photography, video, installation and sculptural objects to communicate different stages of her artistic process. The appearance and the use of the body are as essential to her as the spontaneous acts and contributions by the audience during the performance. Although it may appear as if each piece is influenced by a specific cultural tradition or situation, there is always something basic and human about them that everyone can relate to.

Osman (2010-2011), an outstanding photographic work of the exhibition, in which where the artist disguises herself as a man, a leader, a father or a landowner symbolizes the glorification of a member of the working class. Only the 'tasbih', the prayer beads in her hand subtly hint at a motive from Islamic culture. The installation series OSMAN 5451 (2013), including photographs and documents gives further insight on the character of Osman. What would it be like to apply for a citizenship without a passport and an official residency permit? The performance held at the opening, 'Tragen-Persönlichkeit' (2010-2014) (to assume a personality), will also be presented as an installation piece throughout the exhibition. As a research-based performative work the work features texts and dresses used during the performance as well as photographs. The sculptural installation and the video piece Stille (2014), produced as a continuation of her sculpture piece Reden ist Silber (2010), refer to social and moral implications of expressing oneself and of speaking out loud as well as to freedom of speech. Eat me - Meet me (2010) a video piece based on a performance, tries to reveal a basic human element: the interest one has in other human beings that also includes an interest in their outer appearance, their body.

Mehtap Baydu
(b. 1972 in Bingöl), lives and works in Kassel and Berlin. She graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Fine Arts Faculty, Hacettepe University, in 2000. Between 2001 and 2002 she assisted Prof. Rahmi Aksungur in a sculptural project in Ankara. Since 2002 she has been continuing her artistic work between Germany and Turkey. In 2010, she got her master's degree at Kunsthochshule Kassel in the same year she received the 2010 UPK – Kunstpreis Jury Honorary. Her recent exhibitions include „alèm mar' in Montes Carlos, Brazil, „SILENCE' at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2014), 'HEUTE HIER - bugün burada' in KLEISTPARK, Berlin, THE UNANSWERED QUESTION. ISKELE2 curated by Rene Block (2013), „TURKISH ART NEW AND SUPERB' in Tanas, „HIER und JETZT' in KulturBahnhof-Südflügel (2012), Kassel, „Spaziergang' in the Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel and „Schnitt/Menge' in the Kunstverein Weiden (2009).

Curation: Didem Yazıcı | Editing: Jennifer Fielding |
Production: Suse Piontek