Artist Talk: February 4th, 2012 Saturday 14.00 @ Salt Galata, Bankalar Caddesi No:11 Room 2-3 Karaköy
Türkkan’s brand new series, Full Contact realised in Southeast Asia in 2011, focuses on the use of male and female bodies and their commercial re-appropriation. Go-go dancers, B-girls, ‘hired’ girlfriends and the lifestyle of Muay Thai fighters – who are trained from a very young age – bring out the ‘body’ as the common source of income.
The artist’s hobbies - martial arts and pole–dancing - and her exploration of sexual identities come together in the creation of this series. In these photographs, which according to the artist, can be classified as “subjective-documentary”, Türkkan captures intimate shots from an insiders perspective, without claiming to be an ‘insider’.
‘Full Contact’, a term pertaining to martial arts, highlights different references in the works. The sharp, buffer-less life experience of those photographed and the artist’s approach render the title of the exhibition, ‘Full Contact’ more meaningful.
In her previous series, Türkkan predominantly studied the power relation between genders and the gender roles through the eyes of a woman. However, this series takes a multi-fold approach and allows room to observe male gender identity and roles as well. Therefore, Türkkan begins acknowledging and investigating not only beyond her life but also her gender identity.
The portraits in ‘Full Contact’ are the pieces where the artist establishes the closest relations with those photographed. Women stand out with their femininity while men with their virility. However, with close examination, a flexibility in gender roles becomes visible, through female fighters and transgenders. The changeable gender roles also pertain to Judith Butler’s argument that (gender) ‘…is solely and completely a social construction, a fiction. Gender identity is not the source of behavior but its consequence.’ (Felluga, Dino. "Modules on Butler: On Gender and Sex’’) Presenting different perspectives on stereotypical gender roles encourages the audience to create her/his own argument.
Full Contact tells the story of the bodies, money and pride consumed for the will to survive, as if highlighting the cut-out scenes in a movie. x-ist welcomes everyone to this striking exhibition between January 26th and February 25th, 2012.
Gözde Türkkan alias mimiko's photography work focus on gender politics, identities and roles through a subjective documentary approach. After graduating from Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video in 2008, Türkkan worked as a photography course instructor in the Visual Communication Design Department of the sameuniversity. She continued her education in University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martin’s, College of Art and Design (London, UK), where she received her MA degree in 2010. Türkkan met the art-lovers with her series, PayHere in the group show 'Intersection IV' at x-ist in 2010. In 2011, she opened her first solo show, ‘Looking Back’ at Operations Room, American Hospital and her work from Pay Here series was selected for Christie’s Visions d’Orient De l’Orientalisme à l’Art Contemporain, Paris. The artist also participated in !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival (2007) and group shows, Human at Empire Project (2011) and Vol de Nuits (2011).