In the Body
November 07 2020 – January 31, 2021
Evliyagil Dolapdere, Istanbul
Nazlı Gürlek Hodder’s first solo show, “In The Body”, encapsulates her recent research on embodiment in relation to ecology through visual art. The show features paintings, drawings, collages, installations and video work made between 2018-20. The works reveal performative acts of the body in various ritualistic situations carried out in nature or in the solitude of the artist’s studio with the intention of developing practices of freedom, agency, resilience and empowerment. Gürlek Hodder’s questions concern eco-feminism, oneness of the earth’s body and the human body, and art as a tool for healing and resistance.
Gürlek Hodder combines earth-sourced materials such as volcanic stones, soil, copper and vegetable oils with painted or collaged paper and canvas surfaces bearing the traces of her physical movements, emotional states, sensations and mental monologues. Fluctuating between abstraction and figuration, the works are often activated by light, gaining a living corporeality and a mystical aura.
Painting as a trace of performative process forms the core of the artist’s practice. Through her instinctively structured rituals she explores material, emotional and spiritual dimensions of the body together with themes such as birth, death, creation, alchemy, mythology, ecology, healing, resilience and the unconscious. She combines elements from Anatolian and Central Asian shamanic cultures with dance therapy techniques and archaic symbolisms. The resulting works bear witness to the potential of the body as an inconsistent and vulnerable artifact, with leaky boundaries in constant continuation and flow with the rest of life surrounding it.
In The Body proposes a discussion on what art can be for us all in the current social context of 2020 dominated by the pandemic, social isolation and climate change. The show sets in search for the strength within as the natural quality of an individual in isolation. It proposes to engage our bodies in rethinking society.