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Can Work Flexible Hours
acrylic on canvas, 200 x 100 cm, 2010

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Everyone's a Kid At a Kids' Birthday Party

Seda Hepsev

20 January - 12 February 2011

The fourth show of Seda Hepsev "Everyone's a Kid at a Kids' Birthday Party" can be seen between January 20 - February 12, 2011 at x-ist.

"Everyone's a Kid At a Kids' Birthday Party" is the fourth solo exhibit of Seda Hepsev at x-ist, and even though each show had thematic differences, the artist always had one tonal basis: irony.

The dictionary meaning of irony (from the Ancient Greek eironeia) is the intention to convey the exact opposite of the literal meaning of a word or statement.

Disguised under a serious tone, ironic statements or actions aim for an effect in contradiction and discongruence with the opposing dialogue. Unlike humour, irony makes a critical approach. Irony indirectly highlights the intended meaning with the use of certain mimics, gestures and tone.
In her previous show, "Some Wrongs Do Make a Right" Hepsev portrayed people who came out with their eyes closed in passport photos, wedding photographs where barely half of the groom or the bride appears, banners where the person holding them are outside the frame, in short photographs which should be discarded or in today's digital world simply "deleted" as mistakes. Hepsev presented us the "anti-frame" concept applied to the canvas, with different sized monochrome paintings of these photographs full of shooting mistakes stemming from the human condition.
This time, in order to point out the incoherence between the ideal and the truth, the artist examines the representation of the body with poses and jestures that have no correspondance in our daily life.
The characters in these paintings are adults who have moved from the city to well-protected gated communities and housing complexes. Just like the bedsheeted tents we used to set up as kids under dinner tables or in the middle of living rooms, the housing complexes actually create private "habitats" or personal space for these people. No one actually hides or escapes.
They are only resisting, not hiding, since this assimilating structure in which they find themselves binds them into a community. The face-less figures reflect this integration since the face specifies an individual and becomes a border between people, whereas Hepsev's characters voluntarily give up their identity in exchange for a "virtual" area of resistance and the sense of safety, provided by this assimilation.
Their stagnant poses that almost turn them into statues add to this, and even though they are "one-minute" sculptures - temporary, frozen and insecure, they reflect the motives of the characters. The audience is left to anticipate a movement as a catalyst to break through this uncertainty, just like a mother listening to the heart of her new-born baby.
Hepsev responds to this demand of the audience with a video-animation, starring the characters in her paintings. She documents the lifecycles of these characters in their own habitats and their gradual extinction in this artificial - but rapidly changing - environment.
Let's watch!

SEDA HEPSEV Istanbul, 1978
Continuing the Sufficiency in Arts Program in Yıldız Teknik University, Department of Art and Design, Hepsev had the exhibitions Intersection I (2005), The Null Element (2007), Some Wrongs Do Make a Right (2008) in x-ist. Other exhibitions and participation include "Istanbul Now" (Wien, 2007), "Art Dulcinium" (Serbia, 2005), 11th Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean (Athens, 2003), İstanbul's Doors (Amiens, 1999), "young expansions" (Pera Museum, 2005), Contemporary Istanbul 07, 08, 09, 10, Start-2009 (14th European Contemporary Art Fair, Strasbourg, France) and SCOPE Basel 2010 Art Fair. 


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