RUMEYSA – Galerist hosts Kendell Geers selection

Galerist hosts Kendell Geers selectionFollowing last yearand#39s carte blanche to established Turkish artist Nil Yalter, Galerist in Istanbul is currently hosting andldquoEureka, Carte Blanche to Kendell Geers.andrdquoeers, a South African conceptual artist, decided to invite several female artists who commonly address feminist issues to show their work and named the exhibition after the exclamation andldquoEureka!andrdquo by ancient Greek scholar Archimedes.

andldquoWhen he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose, he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. He was so overwhelmed with the joy of his discovery that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran through the streets of Syracuse naked,andrdquo Geers explains in the catalogue for the exhibition.

andldquoSome centuries later a sect known as the and#39Men of Understandingand#39 — Homines Intelligentia — held that the soul of man cannot be defiled by bodily sin, and believed in a mystical state of illumination and a union with God so perfect that it exempted those who attain it from all subjection to moral and ecclesiastical law. In a moment of religious exaltation, the movementand#39s leader, Egidius Cantoris, ran nude through the streets of Brussels in ecstasy, believing himself to be the savior of mankind,andrdquo he writes, adding that in recent decades, activists from FEMEN and PETA have used their bodies as a form of protest, and alluded to American conceptual artist Barbara Krugerand#39s famous billboard displaying the slogan andldquoYour Body Is a Battleground.

andrdquoHe asked the invited artists to meditate upon the question of their body and its borders. andldquoAs an artist, where do you draw your lines in the labyrinth of the contemporary experience? Your mind finds inspiration as your body creates, generating works of art that are given limits by your galleries.

Your work embodies the limits of your perceptions, as dictated by moral, spiritual, physical, economic, cultural and political constraints. In the battleground of your body expressing itself as an artist, how would you give expression to an ecstatic state of being that runs naked down the street with the words and#39Eurekaand#39 on your lips?andrdquo he asks.

Lalin Akalan, Bianca Bondi, Monica Bonvicini, Anna Ceeh, Asha Cherian, Wangechi Mutu, Mai-Thu Perret, Betty Tompkins, Iv Toshain, Kara Walker, FXXXiIsImI TC and Raqs Media Collective responded with their work.Geers also linked the concept of the show with the historical, political, social and cultural situation of Istanbul, asking the questions such as: andldquoWhere do we draw the borders between our nature and the socio-political, moral, aesthetic, fashionable, mediated borders of our culture?andrdquoandldquoIstanbul is at once the epicenter of our global offering of faith and the melting point of cultural difference.

It is both Constantinople, a birthplace of Christianity, and heir to Muslim modernity. Secular and religious, European and Asian, ancient and contemporary, Istanbuland#39s 14.

1 million inhabitants understand time and the limitations of our time. In the 2013 Gezi Park protests 1 million people took to the streets and saved a tiny piece of nature in one of the fastest-growing urban contexts in the world.

When the police proclaimed every form of protest illegal, a performance artist found inspiration in the most fragile and simple act imaginable, standing still. He simply stood, doing nothing and became known as the and#39Standing Man,and#39 inspiring thousands of others to follow until even the act of standing still became so subversive that it too was outlawed,andrdquo he writes.

andldquoThis exhibition is conceived as a protest song in which the body is celebrated. I would like to Pro-Test the body at the same time as Pro-Tect it.

The exhibition constructed by our bodies should be a gift through which we build our bridges of perception between our selves, our art and the Istanbul audience,andquot Geers said.andldquoEureka, Carte Blanche to Kendell Geersandrdquo will run through March 21 at Galerist.

For more information, visit www.galerist.

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman