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'Anagram' by Leyla Gediz at OJ, Istanbul

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Organized with the support of The Pill Contemporary Art, Gediz will share with viewers her video work titled ‘Parabéns’, which was first screened at AKINCI (Amsterdam).‘Parabéns’ revolves around ‘Unutama Beni [I Hope You Cannot Forget Me]’ (1974), one of the most cherished songs of pop music icon Esmeray.

What does someone from Istanbul, if she is not a tourist, think as she treads along the pavements of Lisbon, laid out in the cobblestone unique to Lisbon? A bakery on every street corner, and pastry and cakes bearing the word ‘Parabéns’ neatly arranged in their windows. As she gazes at the cakes, Gediz thinks about her friends, family and her childhood in the Turkey of the 1970s. It is still early for a celebration, since the rooms are completely empty. All the old flat owners have left behind is a figure carved out of wood. In the loneliness of this figure, Gediz feels she understands Esmeray better, who is no longer with us. Images, most of which have come from Esmeray’s family photo albums to cling onto Gediz’s mind, fall into Photoshop’s blank space furnished with grey/white squares, and strive not to be forgotten.

In the space, the viewer encounters an installation made of sugar cubes, accompanied by Esmeray’s steamy voice. The word ANAGRAM, which is also the title of the exhibition, has been chosen by the artist because it indicates not a fixed function, but transformation. With ANAGRAM, Gediz continues her research into possibilities offered by forms settled in everyday life, forms that have been internalized, and as such, have become invisible.

6.4.18 — 29.4.18

Text: Leylâ Gediz and Övül Durmuşoğlu / English translation: Nazım Dikbaş

Photo by Hasan Deniz

OJ

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