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‘Keep Smiling is the Art of Living’ by Bora Akinciturk at Alyssa Davis, New York

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Installation view
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Installation view
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Bora Akinciturk, Red Fever Nightmare, 2016
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Installation view
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (name tag), 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (name tag), detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (shepherd ant), 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (choice), 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (come back), 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (come back), detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope (choice), detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, A New Hope, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Joe W. Speier, R.I.P, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, F.E.A, 2016
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Bora Akinciturk, Flowers, after Ben Quinn, 2016
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Bora Akinciturk, Amber #14, The Mask, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Amber #14, The Mask, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Amber #14, The Mask, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Amber #15, The Mask, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Amber #15, The Mask, detail, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, None of Us Is As Good As All of Us, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, None of Us Is As Good As All of Us, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, None of Us Is As Good As All of Us, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Coat of Arms, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Woman Kill Tremp, 2017
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Bora Akinciturk, Woman Kill Tremp, detail, 2017
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Installation view

Keep Smiling is the Art of Living
is a slogan of an Indian paintbrush company “Keep Smiling” to market paintbrushes in Turkey. With its meaning unclear and syntax seemingly inadequate, the Englishlanguage motto of an advertising campaign in a non-English speaking country becomes a linguistic manifestation of rapid digital internationalization and its side effects. Everything in the exhibit, including its title, is an image, text, or object that has been reexamined, recontextualized and/or repurposed to serve as a barometer for the current age of global culture. The result is that the paintings, carpets, and sculptures form a coherent universe, but simultaneously stand alone as individual works that exhibit fluid authorship.

A New Hope
, 2017, is a hybrid flag composed of multiple layers of textiles demarcating soil in a potted plant as the territory of a confluence of national ideologies. Resin assemblages Amber #14, The Mask and Amber #15, The Mask (both 2017) encase disused SIM cards, motherboards, cellphones and houseflies as future artifacts of the present.Woman kill Tremp, 2017 is an acrylic overpainting of a digital print that portrays the dismembered head of the current US president whacked with a baseball bat. The original propaganda comes from a North Korean pamphlet distributed in primary schools of South Korea. Stripped of its native designation, the image immediately redefines itself within a new political context, raising questions about the violent aspects of any totalistic ideology. As a whole, the installation responds to our present—an age of global digital cultures misinterpreting and consuming each other on the way to an uncertain future.

14.12.17 — 14.1.18

Alyssa Davis

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