İpek Duben:
The Skin, Body, and I

2 Ipekduben Publication
İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I, Salt & Mousse Publishing, 2024 [front cover]
Design: Esen Karol
Salt’s new publication, İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I, offers an in-depth survey of İpek Duben’s practice, exploring gender, male violence, displacement, migration, and excessive consumption. Released in collaboration with Mousse Publishing (Milan, Italy), the publication carries its title from Duben’s exhibition held at Salt Beyoğlu in 2021-2022.

İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I is edited by Vasıf Kortun and designed by Esen Karol. The publication includes an interview, “My Story,” between Kortun and the artist. It also features essays by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Marianne Hirsch, and Işın Önol, along with a record of a round table on modernism and art in the 1980s held in conjunction with Duben’s one-person show in Maçka Sanat Galerisi (Istanbul) in 1991. The interview looks into the artist’s life and education in Istanbul and the USA and her production from the 1980s to the present, and discusses the cultural environment in Turkey during this period. Wilson-Goldie’s essay addresses aspects of Duben’s practice that engage with and break away from local and Western canons. Hirsch elaborates on the artist’s manifold explorations of women’s embodiment, beginning with her body, while Önol approaches Duben’s “in-betweenness” about the socioeconomic, political, and artistic contexts of Turkey and the USA, where the artist has lived for extended periods. The transcript of the panel discussion, moderated by Beral Madra, with the contribution and participation of Gülsün Karamustafa, Vasıf Kortun, Jale Parla, Yalçın Sadak, Deniz Şengel, Sezer Tansuğ, and Canan Tolon, offers a historical perspective on painting in 1980s Turkey.

Duben is not only an artist but also a prominent critic and art historian. This publication focuses on her art practice, from painting to various mediums, including installations, artist books, and videos. İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I visits the reasons behind Duben’s decision to leave an academic career in political science to move to art and later to art history. It evaluates the artist’s engagement with illuminated manuscripts she studied at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1984 and extensive use of her body image, surveying the prominent themes in her works.

Click here to view İpek Duben’s archive, comprising documents and photographs related to her practice.

On the occasion of the launch of the publication, a conversation will take place between the book’s designer, Esen Karol, and translator, Çağla Özbek, together with Prof. Dr. Turgut Tarhanlı on Tuesday, March 26 at 19.00 at Salt Galata. The program will be held in Turkish.

About İpek Duben
Duben graduated from Arnavutköy American College for Girls (Robert College) and received her BA in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in 1963. After completing her MA in the same field at the University of Chicago in 1965, she abandoned her doctoral studies in 1969 to concentrate on art. She studied drawing, painting, and sculpture at the New York Studio School between 1972–1976 and completed her PhD in art history at Mimar Sinan University (Istanbul) in 1984. Duben has also made significant contributions to art in Turkey with her texts and books. She was involved in institutions such as the Painting and Sculpture Museums Association and the International Association of Art (UPSD). She taught at Istanbul Technical University, Yıldız Technical University, Boğaziçi University, and Istanbul Bilgi University.

Duben’s publications include İpek Duben: Yazı ve Söyleşileri 1978–2010 [İpek Duben: Writings and Interviews 1978–2010], Türk Resmi ve Eleştirisi: 1880–1950 [Turkish Painting and Its Criticism: 1880–1950], and the co-edited volumes Seksenlerde Türkiye’de Çağdaş Sanat: Yeni Açılımlar [Contemporary Art in Turkey in the Eighties: New Directions], and Çağdaş Düşünce ve Sanat [Contemporary Thought and Art].

Selected solo exhibitions include The Skin, Body, and I (Salt Beyoğlu, Istanbul, 2021-2022), Angels and Clowns (Pi Artworks, Istanbul, 2020), in via incognito (Pi Artworks, London, 2018), They (Salt Galata, Istanbul, 2015 and Fabrica, Brighton, 2017), and LoveGame (Merdiven Art Space, Istanbul, 2017). She has also exhibited at the Social Work (Frieze Art Fair, London, 2018), 4th International Mardin Biennial (Mardin, 2018), Poetry and Exile (British Museum, London, 2014), 13th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2013), Dream and Reality (İstanbul Modern, 2011), and A Dream… But Not Yours (The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, 2010).

Her works are included in the collections of the British Museum (London), Wien Museum (Vienna), Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria), King St. Stephen Museum (Székesfehérvár), Museum Volkenkunde (Rotterdam), Istanbul Modern (Istanbul), Arter (Istanbul), Zorlu Foundation (Istanbul), and the Center for Book Arts (New York).


İpek Duben: The Skin, Body, and I
English, 272 pages ©2024 Salt/Garanti Kültür A.Ş. (Istanbul), Mousse Publishing (Milan)
ISBN: 978-88-6749-420-0
Editor: Vasıf Kortun
Publishing Coordinator: Sezin Romi
Texts: Işın Önol, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Marianne Hirsch
Interview: İpek Duben, Vasıf Kortun
Translation from Turkish to English: Çağla Özbek
Copy Editor: Laura Preston
Design: Esen Karol
Printing: Ofset Yapımevi

Available at: moussemagazine.it/shop and Robinson Crusoe 389 Bookstore (Salt Beyoğlu and Salt Galata)

This publication has been produced and published with the support of Banu and Hakan Çarmıklı.