Pi Artworks Istanbul is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Iz Oztat, Suspended, open to the public between September 6 and November 2, 2019. Through this exhibition, the artist reflects on the current social context, where agency in public space is suspended, commenting on the interrelations between the subject and power.
Iz Oztat's practice engages with diverse forms and media defined by her research on the return of the supressed past, tracing what has been lost, and negotiating official narratives through the possibilities of fiction. Collective processes are also central to her practice. The artist has been working in collaboration with Zisan (1894 - 1970), who appears to her as "a ghost and alter ego"since 2010.
Suspended, the video after which the exhibition is titled, presents a collaboration between Iz Oztat and Ann Antidote, portraying a scene of suspension. As a response to freedom of expression being suspended in public sphere, Oztat explores being a body without agency through her own performance. The scene, negotiated through a consentual contract, interrogates the power dynamics experienced in daily life. The body of the submissive is wrapped, tied and suspended by the dominant in a white parchment that resembles both a swaddle and a shroud.
The image of the body hanging from the ropes in a fetal position is in relation to the sculpture, Portable Dungeon: Inclined, consisting of horizontal pipes hanging from a tripod that is reminiscent of a structure losing its power. In the work titled Threshold, the artist strips the fences of the secuirty barriers, which are encountered often on the streets of Istanbul, blocking movement in public space.
At the time when the artist felt the impossibility of coping with the supressive atmosphere, she resorted to articulating a language through geometric abstraction in an installation titled After, shown in the Heidelberger Kunstverein in 2016. Oztat revisits this work in the current exhibition, bringing the red triangles, each containing a black square, onto the walls of the gallery. Other works placed on this surface invite associations to make sense of the encrypted language, which is contructed to subsitute what cannot be expressed. Zisan's black square Catastrophe, dated 1923, carries the burden of losses in a place where mourning is interdicted. Additional works by Iz Oztat attempts to transform the feeling of loss through desire, pain and pleasure within this framework.