ART CITIES:Istanbul-Eşref Yıldırım

Eşref Yıldırım, Diary of Defeats, 2017, Zilberman Gallery ArchiveEşref Yıldırım’s work takes inspiration from media representations that suggest a critique of power structures and social taboos shaping society. He focuses on the individual lives that are often suffocated by the pressures of social hierarchies, prescribed gender roles and racism. His continuous dialogue with painting and his choice of recycled materials become an inherent part of his personal attitude towards his art practice.

By Dimitris Lempesis
Photo: Zilberman Gallery Archive

Eşref Yıldırım’s solo exhibition “Diary of Defeats”, takes as starting point and title the homonymous poem by Turgut Uyar and showcases diaries made in various ways with various materials, representing a continuation of his practice. The works question the current state of diaries that used to be personal items, and emphasizes how they fluctuate between being personal and public.  Our lives do not just belong to us anymore, and it gets increasingly difficult to be alone with our thoughts in an age when we keep receiving news of disasters every single minute through social media. Having observed this situation, Yıldırım asks the question “Is it even possible to feel “good” when dozens of news and images inflict violence on our minds each and every day?” The first diary is in the form of a text woven with rope as an ever-extending line. It points out the slowness of weaving, unable to catch up with the speed of life. It brings to mind our bewilderment caused by continuous delivery of new information without perceiving its real meaning. Another diary consists of an isolated white room in which you only hear the voices of reporters reading news of death. It’s a non-stop stream of news announcing traffic accidents, murdered women, workplace homicides and unexpected disasters. Basing his paintings on some selected news images, Yıldırım does not only create a personal visual diary, but also emphasizes the public nature of our lives by overlaying these paintings on the image of the forest where he takes daily walks. The same forest can also be seen as a performance space in the video shown at the entrance of the gallery.

Info: Zilberman Gallery, Istiklal Cad. No.163 Mısır Apartmanı K.3 D.10 Beyoğlu / Istanbul, Duration: 9/1-24/2/18, Days & Hours: Tue – Fri: 10:00-19:30, Sat: 12:00-19:00,

Eşref Yıldırım, Hill 9, 2017, Zilberman Gallery Archive
Eşref Yıldırım, Hill 9, 2017, Zilberman Gallery Archive