24/05/2023 - 15/07/2023
Zilberman is pleased to announce Neriman Polat’s solo exhibition titled Roofless, opening at the gallery’s main space in Mısır Apartmanı from May 24 - July 15, 2023. Roofless brings together new works the artist has been working on since the pandemic, including a site-specific installation, photography, and video.
Neriman Polat’s solo exhibition titled Roofless constructs an overarching narrative departing from a complex web of issues such as economic hardship, housing crises, isolation, belonging, safety, and women’s rights. As part of the exhibition, Polat creates an atmosphere wherein a precarious society suffering from material and spiritual deprivation appears to be in a continual process of being ousted by the system and transposes it to the gallery space of Zilberman İstanbul.
With Kitchen, an installation situated at the gallery entrance, Polat underscores the direness of the currently ongoing economic crisis which has transformed basic necessities into luxuries. The Tulle Series then greets visitors with photographic documentation of the tulle curtains placed at the heart of the exhibition, documenting them as they billow down the walls of an apartment building. The installation titled Roofless, which also gives the show its title, invites visitors into the rooms of a house comprising its bare skeletal components, made of bricks and naked walls. At times the layers of tulle that envelope these brick walls feature golden legumes resembling ornamental embroidery, and at other times they appear to be frayed and torn; some of the textile layers are quiet oscillations, featuring rose motifs cut out from traditional floral fabrics. These layers of tulle representing extreme hardships where housing conditions have become increasingly difficult and the number of households below the poverty line is on the rise also embody the stories of women, who invariably suffer from this futureless, perilous atmosphere to a greater extent. Accordingly, the layer of tulle covered in flowers is an ode to Gülistan Doku, a young woman who went missing under suspicious circumstances in 2020, underscoring violence against women as a deep societal wound that continues to remain open.
The video titled Swing which depicts a young girl on a swing set marks the ambiguous foray of the younger generation into an unknown future. With her specific framing of the moving image, Polat also places the viewer in the position of a witness, revealing a more mature outlook regarding the near future. The repetition of the image then becomes illegible as the image proliferates into a vast multiplicity, bringing to mind the unfortunate manner in which present circumstances play out in the same way for each and every member of society.
Nevertheless, the exhibition as a whole highlights the sheer importance of the therapeutic power of standing together:
“What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together. All flourishing is mutual.”*
*Robin Wall Kimmerer, from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Please contact İlayda Abdik at email@example.com for further information on the show.
Focusing on socio-political issues in her works, Neriman Polat (1968, Istanbul) critically analyzes phenomena such as gender, public space, urban transformation, and forms of power through a feminist perspective. In her practice, she touches on personal and collective memory and creates works within the field of photography, video, installation, text, and recently, ready-made textile materials that contain interventions. The exhibitions her work was exhibited at the 6th Istanbul Biennale curated by Paolo Colombo, The Passion and the Wave (1999), In Limbo, 50th Venice Biennale, in the Turkish Pavilion, curated by Beral Madra (2003). Between 2000-2009, the artist was a member of the Hafriyat group and she attended several exhibitions with the group during this period. Her last comprehensive solo show, Breaking the Seal, took place at Depo Istanbul, curated by Derya Yücel and Wenda Koyuncu (2020). The artist lives and works in Istanbul.
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- Neriman Polat