Volkan Aslan, Ayman Yossri Daydban, İpek Duben, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Aslı Torcu, Sami Al Turki, Mehmet Al: Disquiet


Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Galeri Zilberman (Istanbul), and Pi Artworks (Istanbul) are proud to announce the opening of their exhibition, Disquiet, curated by Nat Muller. The group exhibition is on view at Galeri Zilberman and Pi Artworks in Mısır Apartımanı between September 25th and November 6th, 2014.

If there is a sentiment characterizing our age,it must be one of disquiet. A feeling of unease with how to grasp the current condition and with what the future might be holding. The works in the group show Disquiet profess a sense of dreamlike unease. Sometimes this is expressed through phantasmagorical scenarios where time and space seem suspended and cannot be specified to any ties in the real world. At other times it is exemplified by rearticulating historical and political narratives to let the imaginary, rather than historical or political fact, takes centre stage. Reality in these works does not come to a halt, but mutates into a possibility that is either one of ominous dread, or one of cautious hope. Very much akin to the uncertain times we live in.

Saudi artist Sami Al Turki's photographs in his Barzakh Series (2013) show places where prices of land have sky-rocketed in Saudi Arabia and New York State. Al Turki's dreamlike images suggest that for many the prospect of owning a house is a mere fantasy. For Palestinian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban, who has lived in exile in Saudi Arabia for most of his life, the idea of home and belonging in relation to place takes on a different form. Yossri Daydban reminds us in his new installation Terra Infirma (2014) that identity, like geo-politics, is continuously is flux.

Istanbul-based artist Volkan Aslan, on the other hand, opens up a fairytale world of whimsy, populated by porcelain figurines. These wonderful creatures are characters in a play that unfolds in front of the viewer's eyes. We are drawn in by their strangeness, quite similar to how Aslı Torcu's eerie and dark paintings draw us in. Her brushstrokes are meticulously executed but some elements seem wilfully out of control. Torcu's subject matter and her technique reinforce each other in their alienness. Ipek Duben's mixed media piece Children of Paradise (2000) is a critique on our consumer society. On a three-meter long shelf, we find a collage of plastic baby dolls, fridge magnets, plastic foodstuffs, mini bar bottles and other iconographic paraphernalia. Mehmet Ali Uysal's defamiliarises the white walls of the gallery space by making them come alive. These walls become like a skin that is pinched by, for example, a clothes peg or is pulled and stretched. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's video installation The Golden Record (2011) is part of the duo's multi-part project The Lebanese Rocket Society, which investigates the incredible, but entirely forgotten, history of Lebanon's space program in the 1960s.