Zeyno Pekünlü


NOVEMBER 18, 2016 – JANUARY 7, 2017

Zeynopekunlu2 1 Zeyno Pekünlü, <i>Minima Akademika</i>, 2015
Zeyno Pekünlü, Minima Akademika, 2015
SALT Ulus hosts a one-person presentation by artist Zeyno Pekünlü to coincide with her invitation as featured artist of the 22nd Festival on Wheels. The exhibition includes works on paper, installations and videos; as well as a site specific intervention of Father of all Fathers (2012/16).

Pekünlü’s recent practice deciphers the processes of information production and distribution through several methods such as montage, rearrangement and decontextualization. Often beginning with found footage and texts, she acts as an obsessive collector sourcing her materials and references from a variety of locations and contexts such as the trash cans of lecture theaters, the debris left under desks, and by trawling through the enormous and irregular archive of the Internet. Her aim is to access, reconsider and transform the necessary, unnecessary, routine, universal, personal, instant or permanent information mass that people accumulate over time. The first floor brings together a group of works built around these themes and ideas. They include Minima Akademika (2015), Everything I Know (2015-ongoing), A bathroom of one’s own (2015) and How to properly touch a girl so you don’t creep her out? (2015).

Tracing the contradictions regarding collecting practices, Minima Akademika and Everything I Know suggest that the attempt to commodify information to produce an ultimate form is impossible, because once information is decontextualized it loses its function and usage value. Minima Akademika presents cheat sheets as endangered precious aesthetic objects that sit in contrast to the high-tech copying techniques of smart phones. Similarly, Everything I Know is an ongoing project that disables information through its accumulation, by abstaining from a practice of categorization. This personal, anachronic collection of “facts” acquired by the artist, implicates the potential of information to re-shape again and again according to the social experience of an individual.

A bathroom of one’s own and How to properly touch a girl so you don’t creep her out? are collaged videos arranged from “How to…?” clips sourced from YouTube. These works focus on the Internet’s role in daily online production, and the roaming and sharing of practical information. While self-proclaimed life coaches, shady experts and PUAs give details on how to pick up women, new and popular mediums of masculine expression are exposed. Both works bear witness to a movement where the making and sharing of casual information has shifted from private “locker-room experience” to digital public space.

The two floors of SALT Ulus are linked by a site-specific installation of Father of all Fathers. A systematically composed listing of “affective” words used during Atatürk’s 1927 Parliamentary speech The Nutuk, which lasted six hours a day for six days. Pekünlü’s personal word selection from this vast resource frees The Nutuk from its own narration and shifts its focus, via the emotional content, from the real intention of the official ideology.

In the street level gallery Pekünlü’s work Pretty Furious Women (2015) while seemingly making a playful visual reference to the film festival, refers to a much more sinister circumstance. In the past decade, in Turkey, violence against women and honor killings have escalated drastically. To fight against injustice, Turkish women recently began a new struggle, encouraging each other to gain their legal rights and defend themselves through self-defence. Inspired by this phenomenon, when commissioned to produce a work for the 2015 Jakarta Biennale, Pekünlü learnt the local martial art Beksi Silat. Her training experience is revived in a series of B-movie-styled posters and a 3 minute movie trailer.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks around ideas of memory production and the structures and application of information.

In collaboration with the 22nd Festival on Wheels, November 25 – December 7 (Ankara, Sinop, Kastamonu).