Underground and clandestine lives: Turkey at the International Art Exhibition in Venice

The work by İnci Eviner focuses on isolation, fragmentation and the impossibility of living fully or speaking openly.

Padiglione della Turchia

On the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice, İnci Eviner is representing Turkey with the project We, Elsewhere, a kind of elevated accommodation environment immersed in shadow. It contains structures, objects and furniture, all unusable. A section of a bed, half chairs and half benches, sealed manholes.

The bannisters that accompany the stairs seem like gratings or grilles. At some points they are bent open, but not enough to allow the escape they evoke. Faces peek through the floors. Along the walls, cuts and cracks create cavities and recesses, and allow glimpses of strange underground scenes. Drawings and videos appear throughout the space.
They are difficult to identify and seem to emerge from underground. A subdued magma of cries, anxious whispers, roars, screams and the sound of chains.

Everything is undefined and undefinable. Everything expresses karstic energy, turmoil emerging from depths with psychological suggestions. The presences that animate the scene also seem to be clandestine; performers who move with suspended and unnatural gestures, sliding along the walls, with unexplainable caution, at times moaning softly, the subjects of the videos, which are a fundamental element of the setting, and of the drawings - drawing is a powerful mental instrument that has always been the origin of the creative process of İnci Eviner.

Agitated shadows of half figures appear and immediately disappear, physically altered with hindered movements, dressed with costumes that are abnormal for their size and proportions, interact among themselves in search of the portion of themselves they have lost, of their own memories, their own words, of that which is missing, either cut away or trapped elsewhere. The backdrop to these actions is mostly neutral, monochrome. Every aspect of the work speaks of isolation, fragmentation, of the impossibility of living a full life, of speaking openly, of the need for secrecy, of lives lived through necessity underground. Of a form of clandestinity that infects the normality of gesture, thought and behaviour.

Turkish Pavilion
Turkish Pavilion, “We, Elsewhere”. 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, "May You Live In Interesting Times”. Photo Giulia Di Lenarda

“What does one feel when freedom is limited, when the body itself is isolated, what new abilities develop to adapt to the situation?” asks the artist; “How and when do simple everyday gestures become political? How do the most human needs, feelings and desires become so dangerous? How can other people’s existence of other people be so severely under threat while we are living in our own comfortable worlds?”

Eniver’s work is a powerful expression of the restrictions, the oppression, the reduction of freedom in his country of origin, and the resistance of conscience and the visceral rebellion of bodies with their convulsions, their tireless longing for completion.

Opening picture: Turkish Pavilion, “We, Elsewhere”. 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, "May You Live In Interesting Times”. Photo Giulia Di Lenarda

İnci Eviner
Zeynep Öz
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)
Created with the support of:
58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia
11 May - 24 November 2019

Special Biennale

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