Curated by Avi Lubin, Supported by SAHA Association Istanbul & Galerist, Istanbul & Austrian Cultural Forum, Hamidrasha Gallery, Tel Aviv. November 2021.
Nilbar Güreş's exhibition at Hamidrasha Gallery includes photographs, paintings, textile works, sculptures and a video. It continues her long-term involvement with issues such as social injustice, gender roles, queer culture and cultural identity codes.
Güreş uses cultural symbols, local crafts and traditional customs (like pieces of her dowry chest) and changes their connotation, their context and their environment. She confronts them with queer symbols and language. Through these acts, she challenges gender roles and cultural conventions in a traditional society.
With a lot of humor and in witty figurations, Güreş uses elements such as coconuts and bananas to gender-reassigned sex organs and to present the nonbinary or trans body. In her paintings and photographs flora, fauna, and humans engage in a playful, and even humorous, game of blurring genders and hierarchies: a rose tree hands out breast implants to humans, a transman receives bananas from a banana tree, the sun and the sea are applauding and cheering.
In one sculpture two pillows, one pink and the other green, are locked together like puzzle pieces. The nonbinary pillows carry signs of both genders and illustrate a Turkish idiom about marriage— “May they grow old with one pillow” —while subtly interrogating the sexual expectations of wedlock.
The works in this exhibition were commissioned with the support of the SAHA association and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tel Aviv.
Credit: Avi Lubin
Neon Boy (2021)
Breast by Rose (2021)
Hidden Rabbit Girl Online (2021)