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Bodies, money & pride in photo exhibition

Posted on 21 January 2012

 Gözde Türkkan (a.k.a. Mimiko), whom we know from her previous series ‘Pudica’ (2007), ‘I was looking to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back at you’ (2008) and ‘Pay Here’ (Intersection IV, x-ist, 2010), opens her second solo show, ‘Full Contact’ January 26th at Gallery X-ist.

Türkkan’s brand new series ‘Full Contact’ realized in Southeast Asia in 2011, focuses on the use of male and female bodies and their commercial re-appropriation. Go-go dancers, B-girls, ‘hired’ girlfriends and the lifestyle of Muay Thai fighters – who are trained from a very young age – bring out the ‘body’ as the common source of income.

The artist’s hobbies – martial arts and pole dancing – and her exploration of sexual identities come together in the creation of this series. In these photographs, which according to the artist, can be classified as “subjective-documentary”, Türkkan captures intimate shots from an insider’s perspective, without claiming to be an ‘insider’.

‘Full Contact’, a term pertaining to martial arts, highlights different references in the works. The sharp, buffer-less life experience of those photographed and the artist’s approach render the title of the exhibition, ‘Full Contact’ more meaningful.

 In her previous series, Türkkan predominantly studied the power relation between genders and the gender roles through the eyes of a woman. However, this series takes a multi-fold approach and allows room to observe male gender identity and roles as well. Therefore, Türkkan begins acknowledging and investigating not only beyond her life but also her gender identity.

The portraits in ‘Full Contact’ are the pieces where the artist establishes the closest relations with those photographed. Women stand out with their femininity while men with their virility. However, with close examination a flexibility in gender roles becomes visible, through female fighters and trans genders. The changeable gender roles also pertain to Judith Butler’s argument that (gender) ‘…is solely and completely a social construction, a fiction. Gender identity is not the source of behavior but its consequence.’ (Felluga, Dino. “Modules on Butler: On Gender and Sex’’). Presenting different perspectives on stereotypical gender roles encourages the audience to create her/his own argument.


 ‘Full Contact’ tells the story of the bodies, money and pride consumed for the will to survive, as if highlighting the cut-out scenes in a movie.

Gözde Türkkan (1984)

Gözde Türkkan’s photography work focus on gender politics, identities and roles through a subjective documentary approach. After graduating from Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications, Department of Photography and Video in 2008, she worked as a photography course instructor in the Visual Communication Design Department of the same university. She continued her education in University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martin’s, College of Art and Design (London, UK), where she received her MA degree in 2010.

Türkkan met the art-lovers with her series, PayHere in the group show ‘Intersection IV’ at x-ist in 2010. In 2011, she opened her first solo show, ‘Looking Back’ at Operations Room, American Hospital and her work from Pay Here series was selected for Christie’s Visions d’Orient De l’Orientalisme à l’Art Contemporain, Paris. The artist also participated in !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival (2007) and group shows, Human at Empire Project (2011) and Vol de Nuits (2011).

Gallery x-ist

Is an ‘art gallery project’ realised by collector Daryo Beskinazi and art director Kerimcan Güleryüz on the basis of their experience in the art world, the result of many years of activity.

x-ist, provides an alternative to the current concept of the art gallery and aims to exhibit the work of young talents who do not as yet have a large audience, but who are making their mark on the future.

x-ist, thanks to its risk-taking, young and innovative approach, aims to become a reference point for the future of contemporary Turkish art and is in favour of the approachability of art.

x-ist is not content with establishing a relationship with art lovers and collectors that is based solely on ‘buying paintings’, but seeks to guide and inform through the creation of works of art.

x-ist is a meeting ‘space’ for artists who challenge institutions opposed not just to them, but to all innovation. By means of its opposition to flatness and monotony and its choice of art work it aims to create a fresh and innovative ‘space’ and thus to become Turkey’s pioneering art gallery in the area of contemporary art.

Exhibition ‘Full Contact’

When: January 26th and February 25th

Where: Gallery x-ist

Address: Abdi İpekçi Caddesi

Kaşıkçıoğlu Apt. No:42  D:2  Nişantaşı

Tel. +90 (0) 212 291 77 84


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