Press Release - either/or


02/04/2021 - 30/06/2021

Zilberman is pleased to present Yaşam Şaşmazer’s “either/or” in Istanbul. The exhibition brings together the artist’s latest sculptures and watercolor paintings, focusing on the ominous relationship of humankind with nature. 

Moving away from wood as her primary sculptural material, Şaşmazer’s newest sculptures depicting anonymous, amorphous, and sometimes amputated human bodies intertwined with moss, lichen, stones, or mushrooms are produced with a mixed technique using mostly paper, .and are accompanied by more than ten abstract watercolors.

The figures remind of the bodily remains in the ancient city of Pompeii, turned to ashes in the 1st century as a result of the eruption of Vesuvius. In these works, like in the previous ones, she transforms bodies with the organic structures she places on them; but, it appears that her bodies are moving even further from recognition. These are human bodies even more taken-over by nature. The title of the exhibition, the conjunction “either/or” — which is used to link words or phrases — ties the past and the future, while also pointing to another possibility.

Şaşmazer has been addressing the dark, shadowy sides, the subconscious fears of the human psyche and the conflict between “I” and the “other”, as well as identities, and the social roles and stereotypes which occur as a result of these internal conflicts, since the beginning of her practice as an artist. Here, she takes a look at our relationship with nature, the subject of humanity’s greatest source of fear. Specifically, she touches on the relationship between humanity and nature based on ownership and domination; she traces the possibility of a common life by identifying the results of the destructiveness of humanity’s efforts to invade and colonize nature.

Yaşam Şaşmazer (b. 1980, İstanbul) graduated from Sculpture Department of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and then completed her master degree at the same university. Her solo exhibitions include Dark Matter (Kunstverein Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt, Germany, 2017), Metanoia (Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, USA, 2016; BERLINARTPROJECTS, Berlin, Germany, 2015; Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey, 2014), Doppelgänger (Künstlerhaus Marktoberdorf, Germany, 2012), Illuminated Darkness (Aubin Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2011). Selected group exhibitions she participated in are: The Child Within Me (Abdülmecid Efendi Köşkü, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019), The Clandestine Life of Objects (Evliyagil Dolapdere, Istanbul, Turkey, 2019), Sorrowful and Restless: A selection of the Papko Art Collection (Istanbul, Turkey), Home is Where The He(art) Is (Galerie Paris-Bejing, Paris, France, 2018), Pulsanti Aperietur (The Abdulmecid Mansion, Istanbul, Turkey, 2017), Replacement (Rampa Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey, 2016), Glasstrees Gotika: Collateral Event of the 56th Biennale Arte (Venice, Italy, 2015), Encounters: Contemporary art from Turkey in Korea (ARA Art Square, Seoul, South Korea, 2012), Confessions of Dangerous Minds (Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2011).

Artist Pages
  - Yaşam Şaşmazer

Exhibition Works