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Winter 2024



Image downloadable from this record is an exhibition view.

From Exhibition Catalog:

In “Traces,” Turkish-American artist Tulu Bayar visually culls together an identity made up of two, eastern and western, paradigms embodying distinct halves of her life. As an immigrant, Bayar carries a sense of being the ‘Other,’ not fully at home in either the U.S. or Turkey. She exists simultaneously within two historical and geographic continuums. In response to Edward Said’s concept of displacement in ‘Between Worlds,’ Bayar’s work aims to transcend the dichotomy of center and periphery, embracing and reconciling elements of comfort, discomfort, and multiplicities. Instead of feeling “out of place,” the work serves as a meditation on accepting multiple places as home. Bayar’s multidisciplinary practice, spanning photography, video, drawing, sculpture, and installation, reflects the complex intersections of diversity, the immigrant experience, hybrid identities, and otherness. Her creative process begins by assembling diverse elements—salvaged images, personal photographic archives, photographic films, old drawings, maps, repurposed textiles, and cultural belongings—which are then infused with new life. This amalgamation serves as a metaphor for the mosaic of human existence, where fragments unite to form a coherent whole. Bayar’s mixed-media works bridge the gap between traditional and experimental art forms, presenting sculptural gestures frozen in time. In “Traces,” she draws with undeveloped film, encasing the forms in resin and ink. Each piece explores calligraphic abstraction, performance, drawing, and Turkish marbling art (ebru). Drawing with photographic film allows Bayar to memorialize moments and reflect on existence, inviting viewers closer to discover hidden images in the film—a journey on a contained surface, just like that of an immigrant. Tulu Bayar’s artistic exploration, rooted in two decade-long engagement with drawing using photographic film, employs meditative repetition to convey the concept of oneness—where all binary notions share a connection to a singular source. Diverging from a focus on the physical, Bayar’s work delves into the spiritual essence of wholeness and mysticism, drawing inspiration from Rumi’s teachings. Her work reveals nuanced and abstract meditation on the nature of the immigrant experience. In the exhibition, giant scrolls cascade down the walls at staggered heights, anchoring the space amid Bayar’s photographic sculptures. Referencing the hidden past and future, the scrolls, rolled at both ends, are waiting for an unfold. Circular shapes and motifs in the scrolls allude to the photographic sculptures. This inspiration is drawn from Italo Calvino’s concept of “continuous cities.” Bayar transforms the space into a continuous city, revealing less-obvious differences within each city---a performative act exposing the hidden aspects in plain sight. The intimate scale of the works in ‘Traces’ invites viewers to step closer and discover the hidden images in the film—never to be seen as anything but a negative. In the artist’s words, “A journey on a contained surface. We can never clearly see or fully grasp the many layered histories that shaped the world we live in today. We can only see the shape of the world.”



Exhibition Type



Ferda Art Platform, Istanbul, TR


Art & Art History