I Only Did What I Was Told To Do

26/03/2016 - 08/05/2016

Galeri Zilberman is pleased to announce Extrastruggle's first exhibition for the gallery titled “I Only Did What I Was Told To Do”. The exhibition can be visited between 26 March and 7 May at the main exhibition space of the gallery.

Started off in 1997 as a project that worked on imaginary orders, Extrastruggle sharply but subtly takes on the criticism of the culture of everyday life through direct references to the political and popular. The exhibition consists of the artist's most recent sculptures and installations and takes a journey towards subservience -setting off from the inseparable relationship between women and punishment, to the archaic books in which the first laws of cruelty were written, and to the notion of debt that enslaves people.

The artist comments on the global issues as well as the local ones with his idiosyncratic artistic language. He turns the conventional sacreds upside down, defining new ones for humanity. The woman penetrates into the exhibition with all its symbolicalness, and topics consisting of faith, ideology and social issues prepare the slippery surface of eternal slavery by articulating to one another like the parts of a chain that give the exhibition its name.

The total global debt, held sacred by the consumer culture which was created by neo-liberal economies that came with the grand illusion of freedom, creates the new sacred with its many zeroes. Today's people who position themselves according to their debt, look for a way out of this new submission with a different kind of obedience. This obedience changes its shape and place by interpenetrating through inequality between genders and past and present references of faith.

The artist says the following on the exhibition:

“The most wretched creature of this hellish world where debt is sacred, where obedience gives peace, where differences are crushed with the power of community, and where punishment designates the hegemon, is the woman, and it has been for thousands of years...

It's not hard to perceive this hell as a rose garden for the ones who fill their days without taking any responsibility. After all, their hearts are at that damned peace of being able to say “I only did what I was told to do.” when the time comes. Or should we have said conscience instead of heart? But is it possible for this sick crowd who are incapable of fulfilling their instinctive needs and therefore have not completed their development of pleasure to have a conscience? Yes, to bring together love and maths is a poetic and revolutionary desire, but in 2015 there are 289 women in Turkey who were killed with violence and the world's total debt is 230 trillion dollars.”

This selection, where a linear narrative creates its own extension, where ideas and evocations come together and silently collide, jovially underlines the idea of a great downfall. Objects whose functions we are sure of, tell genuine tales that don't belong to them, while at the same time inviting the audience to listen, unaware of the rug that's about to be pulled from under them.

Extrastruggle� � �

Extrastruggle (Istanbul, 1970) completed his undergraduate studies at Mimar Sinan Univesity's Graphic Design Department in 1998. He lives and works in Istanbul. His latest solo exhibitions include: Volta 11, Basel, 2015; There’s No God In The Sky Only Birds (Galeri NON, Istanbul, 2014); I Didn’t Do This, You Did (Galeri NON, Istanbul, 2010). And the most recent group exhibitions he participated in include: Istanbul:Passion, Joy, Fury, MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, Italy 2015; Minor Heroisms (Galeri Zilberman, 2015), Objets Trouves, Delvoyeurs (Galerie Didier Claes, Brussels, 2015), Black & White (Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, 2013) and Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2011), The 13th Biennial of Art: Pure Expression (Serbia, 2008) ve 10th Istanbul Biennale (Istanbul, 2007).


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