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Artist E[currency]ener Euzmen delves into everyday politics in Pilot show.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Diyarbakyr-based artist and writer E[currency]ener Euzmen, whose artworks are known for generally including political comments, especially about the southeastern region in which he lives, is currently presenting a solo show at the Pilot gallery in ystanbul, delving once more into familiar issues.

"There is a Way Out," on display until Oct. 10, marks a new phase in Euzmen's artistic practice since this collection sees him use materials he has not used before, like concrete, metal and light boxes, according to a press release announcing the show.

The exhibition opens with a piece of text in a narrow light box. The text features a letter Euzmen wrote to the organizers of a talk in ystanbul in October 2014 at which he was unable to speak as planned because he couldn't leave Diyarbakyr. This was due to large-scale demonstrations in the region protesting the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) siege of the Syrian town of Kobani, which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Kurds. He wrote an emotional letter to the organizers in ystanbul recounting his son Robin's reactions and some memories from his own childhood.

Almost all the works in the exhibition have direct connections to the tough political conditions the artist -- and everyone else living in southeastern Turkey -- is exposed to in daily life.

One such work is titled "Lead Trilogy" and refers to a common practice in the Middle East, which consists of melting a piece of lead and then pouring it into a container of cold water that is held over the head of a sick person to break an evil spell or get rid of the evil eye. The person who performs the ritual then interprets the shape the lead takes on as it becomes solid once more after hitting the cold water. For his work, E[currency]ener made three drawings from melted lead: One for his native tongue Kurdish, one for the Middle East and another one for the world. The text under each drawing mimics the language of this healing ritual, which is generally done by old women.

His text for the lead piece for the world reads: "Check out these curves here! Your nature and natural beings have been interfered [with]; the genetics of what God bestowed have been modified so that you can't recover and restore yourself. All your resources that you thought were infinite are either dried up or about to become so. And, exactly here I see the clear traces of poverty. This series of scratches and that tight knot are the deeds of capitalists -- they play both ends against the middle! Wars have spread all over; terror has become daily food for some. It's all evil eyes, terribly evil eyes on your white waters! Don't these clusters resemble the soaked bodies of the illegal immigrants? Or those stained areas the result of the immigration policies? Those narrow valleys and tight tunnels are all the deeds of evil spirits! The most insidious devil has haunted you! May the evil eye be blown out: May he/they peg out the one who put the evil eye on you! May the Lord endow your future with peace, your life with health, and your leaders with mercy!"

A copper tray with a Shahmaran figure, a mythological half-woman half-snake character that is highly popular in the Middle East, is located right across from the trilogy. In E[currency]ener's work, the figure is ornamented with numerous bullets, again referring to the general atmosphere in the region, and it also has a mustache, which might be interpreted as the male-dominant culture of the area.

Another comment addressing world politics is a silk wall carpet featuring the world map with clear borders of all the countries. What is interesting about this carpet is the placement of the countries: the artist has changed them in an unsystematic way. In E[currency]ener's world, Syria is located in present-day Russia and Greece is in Turkey, suggesting that perhaps things could have been different in another world.

"There is a Way Out" continues until Oct. 10 at Pilot Gallery in Syraselviler.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Sep 29, 2015
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