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.