Ilknur Demirkoparan

Turkey and United States
1978
Statement

Her transdisciplinary practice integrates static against time-based, virtual within physical, traditional with new media to evoke the baffling and often bizarre narratives of identity. While Ilknur’s earlier work traced the stereotype of “The Turk” in western art and literature,  later work of hers explores the mechanisms of power that enable the formation of hyper-accentuated politicised identities. Her attention now, is further focused on the matter of women’s hair. The artist compares the metaphors used in ancient mythologies to understand contemporary cultural attitudes and religious taboos surrounding the follicles on women’s heads.

Her interest in hair started with the religious Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rise to power in her native country, Turkey in 2003. Over the next decade, AKP orchestrated a series of violent operations that transformed the secular republic into an increasingly religious dictatorship. While every regressive blow resulted in diminishing civil rights, especially for women, AKP’s publicity arm paid careful attention to forefront images of veiled women celebrating the party’s victories. Ilknur’s newest body of work intercepts this absurd dynamic by exploring the unspoken, censored messages communicated through the symbolism of female hair.

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GlogauAIR Project
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