EXHIBITION

TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos

EXHIBITION
TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos

Gül Demirdağ

Gül Demirdağ completed her bachelor's degree in Economics at Boğaziçi University and her master's degree in the International MBA program in EADA Business School-Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración, Barcelona / Spain. During her undergraduate education, she studied at the University of California San Diego, CA / USA for 1 year and 6 months during her graduate education at National Chengchi University College of Commerce, Taipei / Taiwan as an exchange student.

She worked in the research sector between the years of 2005-2006 and has been working as a management consultant in strategy projects in the private sector since 2007. While she was working as a management consultant, she also worked as a business partner of the Harmony Art Gallery, Kuzguncuk/İstanbul between the years 2016-2017, and as a business development consultant at Evin Art Gallery, Bebek/İstanbul between the years of 2018-2019.

TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos

“TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos” proposes a guiltless and limpid world for those who realize that our taboos can prevent individuals from getting in touch with their own reality.

Based on moral judgements, religious beliefs, or cultural and social norms, taboos, in general, are “unthinkable, unapproachable acts” that are sacred or forbidden. 

Taboos can be utilised either to protect individuals or to repress a section of society in line with the interests of a certain group. This situation can be exploited by those in power. In his book “Totem and Taboo”, Freud says: “Taboo restrictions are distinct from religious or moral prohibitions. They are not based upon any divine ordinance, but may be said to impose themselves on their own account. They differ from moral prohibitions in that they fall into no system that declares quite generally that certain abstinences must be observed and gives reasons for that necessity. Taboo prohibitions have no grounds and are of unknown origin. Though they are unintelligible to us, to those who are dominated by them they are taken as a matter of course.” And it is precisely in this relationship that the act of exploitation emerges.

We use taboos to classify “things”. As taboos increase, classifications also increase, and while our world of concepts expands to a certain extent, without us noticing, the scope of our freedom becomes narrower in equal measure. The ongoing presence of taboos in society has clouded this dialectic of freedom/conceptualization, and has led to a sort of pollution of the mind. A polluted and cloudy mind ultimately prevents us from perceiving the truth; it steers us away from our own reality. The intent of seeing the reality of “things” requires perceiving the hegemonic framework of taboos that we have created or have been living in. As taboos serve to remove “things” from being intelligible and debatable, they obscure this hegemonic framework. And the aim behind concealing the truth is to conserve and sustain the existing forms of domination, the prerogatives, and the social hierarchy. An attempt at understanding the origins of taboos is the beginning of comprehending the way we live life, and ultimately, of liberation.

“TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos” concerns the interactions of contemporary artists with the things that are labelled, restricted, overlooked and avoided because of taboos. Bringing together local artists from a variety of different fields and disciplines and working with various media, the exhibition delves into the concept of taboo.

The artworks on display focus on the development process of the human mind over time and the taboos that have determined this process. In this context, one of the moves that unites the artworks is the artists’ triggering of different narrative possibilities, their revealing of the ways a subject determined by taboos is seen/perceived.

“TABOO: The Invisible Hegemony of Taboos” discloses taboos that people are reluctant even to question, making the audience think about the reasons behind the existence of taboos, revealing why they are necessary and what they serve. It invites people (in fact, all living things) to use common sense and discuss the taboos created or reinforced by those in power, to be protected from this possible exploitation and to prevent us from meaninglessly restricting ourselves based on taboos, to liberate our minds and those oppressed under taboos.

Artists & Works

GİZEM KAHYA İYEM

Border

 Sculpture Installation

160 x 210 x 80 cm

2018

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Dream

Marble

70 x 35 x 30 cm

2014

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Nightmare

Marble

90 x 120 x 45 cm

2003

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Lightness

Marble

100 x 35 x 100 cm

2003

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Scream I

Kandıra Stone

15 x 40 x 23 cm

2016

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Scream II

Kandıra Stone

15 x 40 x 17cm

2016

ŞAHİN DOMİN

Migration

Marble

75 x 50 x 55 cm

2015

CAN SAYINLI

Infactious

CAN SAYINLI

Tread Softly

Wool Rug

241 x 155 cm

2018

Photo Credit:  Kayhan Kaygusuz

CAN SAYINLI

Runner

Wool Rug

375 x 82 cm

2018

Fotoğraf: Kayhan Kaygusuz

İLKER RUKAN & GÖKALP ERGEÇEN

Inner Voice

Sound Installation

4 speakers – 6 x 4 m room

2020

OSMAN NURİ İYEM

Capitalist Worship

Single Channel Video Placement on Prayer Rug

110 x 67 cm

2+1 AP

2018

EDA EMİRDAĞ

Leave Them

01'13'' Dual Channel Video

2014

TURGUT MUTLUGÖZ

Furry Portrait

Oil on Canvas

50 x 50 cm

2018

TURGUT MUTLUGÖZ

Karakancolos

Tempera and Gouache on Wood Canvas

28x34

2019

TURGUT MUTLUGÖZ

I.Pose

Pencil on Paper

70x50

2020

TURGUT MUTLUGÖZ

II. Pseudo Pose

Pencil on Paper

70 x 50 cm

2020

TURGUT MUTLUGÖZ

Tournier’s Dwarf

Gouache and Ink on Paper

26 x 18 cm

2020

KADER GENÇ

Brief Summary of Human

HAKAN GÜRSOYTRAK

Cloths

Oil on Canvas

110 x 90 cm

2007

HAKAN GÜRSOYTRAK

Lilith

Oil on Canvas

160 x 130cm

2008

HAKAN GÜRSOYTRAK

Industrious

 Oil on Canvas

141 x 180 cm

2007

HAKAN GÜRSOYTRAK

This Product Contains Pig

 Oil on Canvas

183 x 142 cm

2013

HAKAN GÜRSOYTRAK

No Title

Collage on Cardboard

30 x 40 cm

2018

SILA YALAZAN

Death

Charcoal on Paper

42 x 30 cm

 2020

SILA YALAZAN

Woman

Charcoal on Paper

42 x 30 cm

2020

SILA YALAZAN

Witch

Charcoal on Paper

42 x 30 cm

2020

SILA YALAZAN

Animal

Charcoal on Paper

42 x 30 cm

2020

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