Nilbar Güreş: Who is the Subject?

Nilbar Güreş: Who is the Subject?
OSMOS Books, 2013
ISBN 978-0-9883404-5-9

“Who is the Subject?” is the first monograph on Nilbar Güreş’s work published by OSMOS Books in New York is a collaboration with RAMPA.

Güreş builds her image production on performance and cultural observation. Her works are molded around gender, composition of conceptual space, and narrative presentation, translated into forms such as photography, collage, drawing, and video. Istanbul/Vienna/New York-based Nilbar Güreş explores the politics and construction of gender identity in relation to geography and ethnicity as well as the relationships between women and their domestic environments. Güreş has an autobiographical layer in terms of the materials, settings, casting, and objects, which she reconstructs in her practice. She works with her family and friends—people whose stories she knows personally. She conceptualizes settings as forms of “open” scripts while bringing in real stories and people she has an intimate knowledge of.

The series, “Unknown Sports” (2009) consists of three performances staged by the artist who worked with housewives and volunteers from feminist organizations at the gymnasium of Marmara University. Female practices such as body hair waxing, styling or vacuum cleaning are becoming their tools or weapons against male power and dominance. The series “Çırçır” (2010) takes place in a neighbourhood confiscated by the state in Istanbul, undergoing a problematic urban transformation. Women who live in a migrant culture dominated by a patriarchal structure are re-liberated as they stir up our collective consciousness in these open-ended scripts where they play the lead. For her “TrabZONE” (2010) series, Güreş traces a geographic reality that is imprinted on her childhood-memory with an instinct to re-look at Trabzon, an Anatolian city, which the artist used to visit as a child. “Open Phone Booth” (2011) is situated at a very critical point in the practice of the artist; stripped of personal references, this work is transformed into a contemporary “social realist” painting; it is inspired by observations and experiences in one of the Alevi-Kurdish villages in Bingöl, still deprived of basic infrastructural elements


Text; Kate Sutton
160 pages, hardcover 

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