I AM, 1992 - Autostrada Biennale

I AM, 1992

Artist: Nil Yalter

Venue: Shani Efendi House

Since the 1970s, Nil Yalter’s story within the larger narrative of Turkish contemporary art has found its roots inside a nomadic thinking between media, disciplines, communities, cultures, and cities. She constantly questions the establishment, power, and authority. It is here that she finds a way to float with her roots. The way she makes use of the politics of location—places and spaces as cartographies of power—constructs a form of self-criticism, a critical genealogical narrative. Her work is often built upon situated knowledge from personal experiences and the stories around them. Her embodied accounts of these illuminate and transform viewers’ knowledge of themselves and the world. Her artistic vocabulary is made up of research, poetry, materiality, storytelling, and abstraction. Within this big picture, figures and histories of women appear in their multifaceted ancestry as forces to connect present, past, and future. Yalter’s rarely shown work I AM, a manifesto on her polyphonic identity, is a strong example of the ways the artist claims nomadism contra fixations on categorized identities and histories. I AM highlights the memories and languages embedded in the bodies of women in the western Balkans and eastern Mediterranean. The work retraces the routes between the western Balkans, Istanbul, and Anatolia, and is a reminder of the many untold stories of these places. Translated in the languages of Prizren, I AM appears in different moments alongside the main installations in Shani Efendi House.

Nil Yalter (1938) was born in Cairo and lives and works in Paris.


Supported by SAHA Foundation

Text by Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu

Photo credits Tuğhan Anıt

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