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10.09 - 25.10.2022



Beral Madra

The audience generally remains silent in the face of the visual information and impact that contemporary artworks offer. When it transforms the visual information presented by the work into intellectual information, it may react in the phase of confronting the subject; because if the political- social-cultural conditions in which it is produced are loaded with negative facts that need to be known, this confrontation will not be easy. This kind of participation and effort awaits the viewer in Leyla Emadi’s comprehensive exhibition titled Tenterhooks, consisting of concrete installations, slabs (new-inscriptions), textiles, photographs and videos containing words and sentences that bring these facts to the fore.

Leyla Emadi uses three basic contents in her mixed media installations with concrete graffiti and text: first, iconic idioms with ideological meanings, secondly, quotations from popular culture, and thirdly, quotations from local culture. These contents reflect her views, comments and criticisms in the context of current political, social, cultural developments and problems. In general, a work of art containing writing and language, realized using painting, relief, plate or all other production techniques, positions the hybrid and complex relationship between language and visual images in an unexpected space for the viewer. With these works, Emadi informs the audience that the thought placed in the imaginary environment isolated from the usual act of reading a book, points to a power that must be gained when the conditions require it. The verbal message carried by the imaginative text exists as an indestructible content element.

Contemporary art production in Turkey has an increasingly prominent function in keeping women’s identity, freedom, legal rights, justice on the agenda, discussing and communicating it to the masses. Drawing attention with her productions in this field, Emadi criticizes the ultra-conservative, sexist and violent gender rules with this exhibition and continues to lead by using especially writing and language. Her aim of production is to make the invisible visible for the large mass who experience timidity and shyness and to invite them to question the order that is obeyed despite all the negativities. The visual information that Emadi provides helps spark thinking on controversial or challenging topics. It triggers art production to be a more important and frequently used part of resistance and resolution than ever before.

Concrete weights and five concrete mats with inscriptions on them in
this exhibition are the primary stimulators of this strategy. Each mat is
the entrance to a space equipped with works related to the word it carries. The concepts of confrontation, comprehension, acceptance, purification and transformation, conveying the artist’s messages about this exhibition, are written on the concrete mats, which can be seen on the entrance wall of the exhibition to underline the backbone of the show. She also participates in this action with the video titled Tenterhooks of her performance on a thorny pillow.

Emadi collaborates with the We Will Stop Femicide Platform to make
the work of artists and activists more effective, aiming to disrupt and change the process of violence and persecution against women. During the exhibition, 21 gr iron weights in the form of printer output weights will be produced and all of the proceedings of the sales of these weights
will be donated to the platform. This collaboration is also reinforced in connection with the platform with a video titled “Screams That Can’t Be Heard”, which was created with the information of 28 women selected from the digital archive of artist Zeren Göktan called “monument counter”.


This exhibition carries the message of rethinking, re-discussing, re-joining the struggle for the woman identity, developments related to this identity, facts and events in the order in which society lives, and re-edit, re-create, re-explain, re-criticize for the artist. 


2.Michel Foucault, Bu bir Pipo Değildir, Çev. Selahattin Hilav, YKY, 7.baskı 2010, s.24

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