Ipek Duben: in via incognita


Pi Artworks London are pleased to present a new exhibition of work by New York and Istanbul based artist Ipek Duben. Duben has worked for over 30 years as a multi-media artist, focussing on documentary images which address individual subjectivities. in via incognita brings together sculptural art books and wall pieces based on documentary material that looks head on at one of the issues that is most pressing in our lives today – and has been for centuries – global migration. It will be Duben’s first major show of works in London since the early 1980s.


in via incognita includes two art books; Farewell My Homeland, first shown in New York in 2006 as a multimedia installation and No Name (2017). 


Farewell My Homeland reflects on forced migration at the time of crossing borders, meanwhile in No Name the focus is now on a deep sense of loss and burn out memories.


“Millions of people have migrated over the ages. The 20th century was 100 years of forced migration and displacement all over the world and the 21st century has now become one. Farewell My Homeland is in memory of those who had to leave their homes behind forever.” - Ipek Duben, 2018.


In the exhibition the two books will be shown surrounded by a large scale new wall work in via incognita (2017), a frieze of images that will circle round the gallery.  The frieze can be likened to a film strip; a cinematic view from the time of the Balkan Wars of 1912 to the present da; journeys of thousands of migrants lost on land and at sea around the world. This 12.5 metre long display of images are framed by barbed wire, trapping those featured inside.


10 further new pieces Untitled Portraits (2017) show small silk screen prints of individual portraits of the refugees with their names hand crocheted by Duben on each one.  Seven further framed silk screens from a series the artist has created with imagery from Kosovo in 1999, taken from sources such as the New York Times, will sit alongside the new works.

In her multimedia installations, paintings, art books and videos, Duben has focused on memory, identity, gender, prejudice, and migration. All Duben’s works are interactive; pushing the viewer to the psychological limit and requiring their participation.


About Ipek Duben

Ipek Duben, b. 1941. Recent solo exhibitions include: Frieze Art Fair, Social Work section, juried by Iwona Blazwick, Katrina Brown, Louisa Buck, Amira Gad, Jennifer Higgie, Melanie Keen, Polly Staple, Sally Tallant, Fatos Üstek and Lydia Yee, with Pi Artworks, London, UK (2018); Beyond Words, 4th Mardin Biennale, Turkey (2018); in via incognita, Pi Artworks London, UK (2018); LOVEGAME, Merdiven Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); THEY/ONLAR video installationFabrica, Brighton, (2017) and the Brighton Festival (2017); THEY/ONLAR), Salt Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); 2012, Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul (2012). Besides solo exhibitions, Duben has participated in Evliyagil Museum, Ankara, Turkey (2017); the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013); Poetry and Exile: British Museum (2014); 3rd European International Book Art Biennale, Moscow (2014); The Fourth and Fifth Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Biennale for the Artist’s book (2010, 2004); Istanbul Modern (2009,2011); The National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C. 2010); King St. Stephen Museum, (Hungary 2013,2006); The Fifth Sharjah International Arts Biennial (2001); Collections include: Istanbul Modern, British Museum, Wien Museum as part of Karamustapha Export-Import, King St. Stephen Museum, The Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Koç and Zorlu Foundations.

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