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NEW CITIZEN

In the postcards that I collected from Paris and Istanbul, I gave the possility of existence to the girls captured in the patterns and they told their own stories.

To insert “New Citizen” into Europe with its new historical associations, allowed for an expression that pushes the limits of tradition of European representation. As a way to transcend representation, I borrowed strategic sources from wall papers and Turkish tiles, which became tools of deconstruction that  will work from within the patterns. Colonial images, which have been relatively excluded from art history –monkeys running around in joy, Chineese women involved in a tea ceremony- found a place for themselves, multiplied infinitely with the surfaces they occupy and became part of collective memory with the atmosphere they have created. This ornamental transformation of the “Other” is the result of a decorative reconciliation. Without realizing, they effect our gaze and transform it. Contrary to  intentional gaze, we don’t look at wallpapers, they sorround us as objects of  involuntary unintentional gaze... Wallpapers -besides hosting heavy oil paintings  and reflecting the houseowner’s elite taste- and tiles are a realm of uncanny images that are accumulating towards the unconscious beyond a mystical atmosphere.

I have performed interventions on the postcard, which I found at a museum foyer in Paris, to reveal the desire arrested in the images of the Chineese woman  and the boy. The Chineese woman is suprised by the sudden appeareance of her phallus and the boy becomes a narcist against Europe’s Islamophobia; covered and caressing himself. Knowledge that is colonial, orientalist or produced through any other ideological discourse, does not only create the other but also transforms it into an image. To save ‘difference’ that cannot be rehabilated or tamed from these discourses, I bestowed them with their own gestures.

The Çintemani pattern, which is often used as a touristic image of Turkey, has been removed from its own surface and circulates as a cultural representation. The violence inherent in this pattern, which is a populist reflection of cultural consumption, released the possibility of resistencee in the dizzying and angry actions of the girls. To create a space of existence for the New Citizen, I freed it from the imposed definitions and from the world of narrow meanings of all ideological gaze. To reflect on the cultural differences that are supressed and left outside of the political borders of Europe, hiding in the innocent patterns of the ornament, I entitled them to the right to move. These timeless frozen images are freed with the possibilities of video technology.

İnci Eviner-2009

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