Curated by Eda Bermen, Nil Yalter’s “Off the Record” exhibition just left me breathless. I simply loved it! After a long tour of decorative art shows finally seeing, understanding and actually getting excited by seeing an artwork is just an amazing feeling. Here are some of the works from the show…
As an immigrant herself, Nil Yalter has focused extensively on the subject of immigration. A selection of video interviews with migrants, which the artist recorded between 1976 and 2005, are chosen for the context of Istanbul and arranged in responses to the specificities of the exhibition space.
The exhibition begins with Nil Yalter’s words. Written in 1992, as a part of a video work with the same title, this poem elucidates the multi-cultural composition of Europe as well as the fluidity of definitions with which the artist identifies herself.
Nil Yalter visited Istanbul in 1972 at the time when the executions of Deniz Gezmiş, Hüseyin İnan and Yusuf Aslan were under consideration in the Turkish parliament. This artwork is comprised of works on paper created in the small room in which Yalter stayed in Istanbul and her act of presence in a smaller room in Paris that Yalter rented and arranged in the same way as her room in Istanbul. The portraits of generals in the press clippings are punctured with frantic piercings and buried with clay under the artists pressing fingers. (above)
The paintings from the 1983 “Exile is a hard Job” series take their form from oriental carpet designs and incorporate the poetry of Nazım Hikmet and Hasan Hüseyin Korkmazgil. Yalter combines an ethno – critical approach with oriental artistic influences, oral tradition and technological experimentation to reattribute dignity and individuality to people who have been reduced to casualties, or statistics of industrial efficiency in the middle of the 20th century.