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Beau Ideal

GÖZDE MİMİKO TÜRKKAN,  PINAR YOLDAŞ

16 FEBRUARY - 23 MARCH

Pilot is pleased to present “Beau Ideal”, a reflection on constructed beauty and a glance at gender politics. Today, having interest in how our bodies appear to our surroundings became a political issue. What we find aesthetically pleasing, cool or tacky is constructed by and also constructs the society. Along with the presence of Butler in the 90s we acknowledged that gender is a social construct. Gender is real only to the extent that it is performed and is a process of self-construction as well as beauty.

Gözde Mimiko Türkkan and Pınar Yoldaş has fresh approaches to the concept of “collective desire”. They delve from variety of angles into labels; skin colors, ethnicities, species, gender norms… Playing with the idea that the colors, forms or behavior of bodies are inherently vested with specific meanings, the exhibition sway in the breeze and they arrive to the station of body politics. Which body is the ideal one, according to who, where and when?

Gözde Mimiko Türkkan is an artist who produces photography series, make use of artist’s books, text-based works and videos. Her work focuses on gender roles and identities while attempting to shed light to some of the deepest drives, desires and fears of the human being through a subjective documentary approach. Türkkan’s works make the viewer question stereotypes and preconceptions, power struggles and how these are manipulated.

Türkkan’s works in foster an erotic intimacy that plays on the boundaries between knowing and not-knowing the other’s body. The artist proposes the intimacy as a tool to raise public questions. She confronts the viewer to face “the other self” and enables the excluded. The measure for self-worth is foundational to Türkkan’s methods and means. The resistance to the gendered stereotypes has been at the core of her politics. Exploring the intersection of gender and race, artists add another layer to her work. A new path for Türkkan.

“Beau Ideal” features Türkkan’s photo series “Now You See Me” (2015-ongoing), the re-enactment of amateur looking-porn videos and “cam-girls”. The work expands in the exhibition and artist goes out for a new adventure, a search for the biggest right hand of man of African origin in Istanbul she can find. In this search, she produces a sculpture that determines the criteria like the glass shoe in the Cinderella story. Artist also documents her search and turns it into a video work. As the mediums diversify Türkkan’s investigation of the beauty myth branches. Looking from this perspective, the hand becomes the symbol of a workforce and its exploitation, in our era it becomes an instrument to measure success and define talent, like in the case of sportspeople. All in all, Türkkan’s works suggests a collective desire to be accepted.

Pınar Yoldaş is an infradisciplinary designer/artist/researcher, an assistant professor in University of California San Diego. Her work develops within biological sciences and digital technologies through architectural installations, kinetic sculpture, sound, video and drawing with a focus on post-humanism, eco-nihilism, anthropocene and feminist technoscience.

“Are there traits we collectively desire?” asks Pınar Yoldaş. The artist finds this “collective desire” as the driving force behind the society. Yoldaş approaches to the traits like beautiful, fit, sympathetic, wealthy, popular, privileged and smart with suspicion. Her works inhabit alternative narratives, speculation and fiction. As artist quotes from Hito Steyerl “in this world, there is too much world”.

Pınar Yoldaş’s “Designer Babies” (2013-ongoing), recently exhibited in the 4th Design Biennial (2018), is returning to Istanbul with new babies via Pilot Gallery. In the scope of her bio-critical feminist approach she also produced a new video. The work can be summarized with Agnes Vardas’ words from Les plages d’Agnès (2008): “The women's struggle will be collective or it will not be; it's not just about being free.”. Yoldaş wants to look deeper into the idea of beauty and finds its origins in biological world. Following in the footsteps of feminist philosopher Elizabeth Grosz, who believes that our notion of art and beauty is rooted in the animal world, Yoldaş continues her collages of biological excess with two new pieces focusing on birds and the young animal.

Gözde Mimiko Türkkan and Pınar Yoldaş confronts the mainstream, pre-conceptions and biases in the society. Which hand will fit in? Which baby will be the perfect one?

Exhibition view

EXHIBITION PHOTOS