Press Release - Diary of Defeats

09/01/2018 - 24/02/2018

Zilberman Gallery is pleased to announce Eşref Yıldırım’s solo show “Diary of Defeats”. His third solo show at Zilberman Gallery–Istanbul, “Diary of Defeats” can be seen at the main gallery in Mısır Apartment between the dates January 9 – February 24, 2018.

Eşref Yıldırım’s works are based on media representations that point out loci of social/political power and social taboos that shape the society. They focus on individual lives that are under the oppression of social hierarchies, established gender roles and racism. Yıldırım’s artistic practice is founded on his consistent dialogue with painting, his use of recycled materials and his practice comprising various mediums such as installation and performance. Inspired by Turgut Uyar’s poem “Diary of Defeats”, Yıldırım’s latest show at Zilberman Gallery–Istanbul showcases diaries made in various ways with various materials, representing a continuation of his practice.

“we weren’t ready for anything
games were played, skies were overcast, we were defeated”

The exhibition questions the current state of diaries that used to be personal items, and emphasizes how they fluctuate between being personal and public. Our lives do not just belong to us anymore, and it gets increasingly difficult to be alone with our thoughts in an age when we keep receiving news of disasters every single minute through social media. Having observed this situation, Yıldırım asks the question “Is it even possible to feel “good” when dozens of news and images inflict violence on our minds each and every day?”

“confusion left behind from a past without success”

The first diary is in the form of a text woven with rope—an ever-extending line. It points out the slowness of weaving, unable to catch up with the speed of life. It brings to mind our bewilderment caused by continuous delivery of new information without perceiving its real meaning. Another diary consists of an isolated white room in which you only hear the voices of reporters reading news of death. It’s a non-stop stream of news announcing traffic accidents, murdered women, workplace homicides and unexpected disasters.

“waiting for the happiness of a hill
waiting for pain to scorch and pass...”

“Taking refuge in nature” is thought to be peaceful, however it’s not possible for an individual with an internet connection to avoid the constant stream of news of violence. Basing his paintings on some selected news images, Yıldırım does not only create a personal visual diary, but also emphasizes the public nature of our lives by overlaying these paintings on the image of the forest where he takes daily walks. The same forest can also be seen as a performance space in the video shown at the entrance of the gallery.

The show is accompanied by a publication consisting of diary entries written collectively. A public event will be organized as part of the exhibition, with the launch of the exhibition catalogue, and an artist talk, details TBA.

For more information about the show, contact Serhat Cacekli at

***All excerpts are from Turgut Uyar’s poem “Diary of Defeats”.

>Talk & Discussion - Diary of Defeats

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