the Jests of İpek Duben
SHE matches. A blue-haired 79-yearold sporting a neckline adorned with a chain mesh resembling repurposed plastic clips, İpek Duben sits atop the Juma building in Karaköy behind glass windows, comfortably adorned in a fuzzy, azure sweater. Hers is the art of a storied satirist, whimsical at heart and on the surface, but rough around the edges when bristled.
İpek Duben: They/Onlar
İpek Duben is surely the Grande Dame of the Turkish art World: a feminist activist artist of 75 who is still producing provocative work in a career spanning four decades. Showing all over the world, formerly as a painter, always a writer, her practice today involves artists’ books, video and installation.
İpek Duben The Skin, Body, and I
"The Skin, Body, and I" at SALT Beyoğlu provided the most comprehensive coverage of Turkish artist İpek Duben's fruitful, four-decade-plus practice to date, revealing the wide span of cultural and political themes that continue to permeate her multidisciplinary oeuvre. Presenting unflinching social critique on gender inequality, forced migration, and capitalist exploitation through the image of the human body, the works in the show call for critical empathy and challenge the traditionally passive role of the art viewer.
They is a violent word. Perhaps more innocuous sounding in other nations, it carries within itself a separation, a detachment particularly dangerous in the context of Turkey—a country whose national identity is rapidly deteriorating. Some citizens would even argue that individuals calling themselves Turkish rather than merely “from Turkey” are telegraphing specific encoded information not just about their nationalities but also their religions and sects.
In via incognita
Stepping inside Pi Artworks’s latest solo exhibition featuring the work of Turkish multimedia artist Ipek Duben is a strange and disconcerting, troubling, even, experience. As you leave behind the hustle and bustle of London’s Fitzrovia, Duben transports the viewer into a world of silent screams and desperate realities where unrealised hopes and stolen dreams abound.
They is a multi-screen video installation about how the majority of society in Turkey view those they consider as “others” and how these marginalized others perceive one another. The installation presents 24 people who come from a diversity of ethnic origins, belief systems, and sexual orientations. They appear on different screens and share their personal stories.
İpek Duben a Selection: 1994-2009
Robert C. Morgan
Duben functions as an artist with a nomadic instinct. Given the range of her experience and intellect, I believe Duben has emerged as an important trans- cultural artist, not just a Turkish one. She is an artist motivated to tell the truth through subjective memory, perception, and insight about the fate of a woman born into the culture of the Middle East who discovers intimate forms of expression that become universal.
"Hell is other people," mused French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in a widely misunderstood line from his one-act play "No Exit." Sartre later explained what he meant by those words: "If relations with someone else are twisted, vitiated, then that other person can only be hell. Why? Because when we think about ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, we use the knowledge of us which other people already have.
İpek A. Duben’s “Manuscript 1994” shown last month in Istanbul and this month in Ankara, made me think of Karl Marx’s 1884 Manuscripts and the intense discussion following their publication as well as the post-structuralist formulations of Deleuze, Guattari and Derrida concerning Mallarme and conceiving of the world as a book, and Deleuie and Guattari's opposition to Chomsky with their idea of a 'nomadic and homeless book'.
İpek Duben: Dealing with issues within a multi-dimentional perspective
"Throughout your artistic practice spanning 40 years, you have dealt with a myriad of social issues including gender, identity politics, violence and immigration in your work. Now within the scope of your current retrospective exhibition, all of these issues seem to coexist side by side, and in dialogue with each other, while every one of the works continue to retain their relevance to this day. In this show they seem to create the powerful sound of a choir..."
İpek Duben'de Merak, Dış Dünya ve Benlik
İpek Duben'in 40 yıla yayılan işleri malzeme, ortam ve ele aldığı konular bağlamında ne kadar çeşitlenirse çeşitlensin tüm işlerinin fitilini ateşleyen, kendine ve ötekine duyduğu meraktır. Bu merak sanatçıyı özellikle etrafını çevreleyen değişimlere eleştirel bir gözle bakmaya iten türdendir.
“Kuyruklu Türk” – İpek Duben’in Eserlerinde Dil Kullanımı
Hatice Utkan Özden
İpek Duben’in Salt Beyoğlu’nda “TEN, BEDEN, BEN” başlığıyla gerçekleşen ve 8 Mayıs’a dek sürecek sergisinde dilsel ifadeleri anlambilim ve göstergebilim açısından yorumlamak mümkün.