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Who is Inside You? 2016
İnci Eviner Retrospective
Curator Levent Çalıkoğlu
Istanbul Modern Museum

“İnci Eviner Retrospective: Who’s Inside You?” reconstructs Istanbul Modern’s temporary exhibition hall as a memory palace where past and present are interwoven. And it transforms Eviner’s artistic practice as well, and the layers in the intellectual development of her art, into a viewing platform that can be looked at from different perspectives and lines of sight. Time does not flow chronologically from past to present, as would be expected in a retrospective exhibition. Through its inner dynamics, the show follows nondirectional intersections and a spiral course. This course indicates a state of thought and action that transforms within its unique vision the conditions that come its way while in action. A transparent history emerges in this setup, in which are restaged a visual language and images that are ongoing or interrupted, which were born years ago and then transformed into different states over time. Rather than establishing an identification between a clearly defined architectural structure and works that conform to it, the exhibition space evolves into a living, breathing, dynamic entity. It reminds us of the geography we encounter in many of the artist’s works—a geography that we have difficulty defining even though it seems familiar. The setup is dynamic rather than static, and transparent rather than closed, with multiple views and lines, allowing a viewer standing at a single point to see the past and the present simultaneously. This is an attitude that invites what is seen at a distance to come up close, that wants us to think of the sources of the act of seeing, and that suggests that we look at history through the possibilities of the present. Walls of different height, rooms which at certain points turn into dead ends, and capsules that give the person entering the feeling that they are standing inside their own personal exhibition unit all point to the materialized, physical presence of the information that the exhibition conveys. In addition, two viewing platforms placed in two different spots in the exhibition space allow us to see previously unnoticed perspectives that are beyond eye level, and thus saves our customary act of viewing artworks from being static. This exhibition setup nourishes the idea that “things are happening around me and I am right at their center” and the visual, auditory, and semantic feelings generated by this idea.

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