Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dear All,

Please visit EXTIMACY a solo show with new work on the 24th of October in Dubai with The Third Line gallery.

For more information

Press release

Some background

Eminent artist, Hayv Kahraman, returns to The Third Line with new work that tackles the
complex relationships between gender and identity constructs; geopolitical and
physiological boundaries; and, the perception of self vis-à-vis the demands of conformity
within society.

Six panels depicting women extracting a cross sectional slice of their own bodies encompass the
gallery space. Expanding on her previous series, Kahraman’s depictions of these women personify a
hybrid identity hinting to the affinity of dismembered bodies with fragmented geographical locations. This somewhat crude act of detaching a limb is also reminiscent of a violent uprooting and is revealed materialistically in the work. Manifested through the artist’s heterogeneous use of wood and rawhide, the artist forces an unnatural but seamless coexistence between mixed materials.

First explored in her work Quasicorporeal, Kahraman’s inspiration stems from her personal story and own segmented body scan, which she then applies throughout this body of work. Within this framework, she also includes two rawhide light-boxes in the show that depict a cross-sectioned anatomical slice. The violent and nonchalant aspect of plane sectioning a frozen cadaver speaks to a similar detachment and separation that occurs within people of a diaspora or in exile.

Kahraman further extrapolates this point through a 3 dimensional sculpture, namely the Möbius body. The structure, of no beginning and no end, aims to deconstruct binary notions of mind and body, male
and female, inside and outside; where hierarchy is created by one element inherently becoming the
subordinate of the other.

According to Kathy Davis, senior researcher at the Institute of History and Culture in Utrecht University, Kahraman’s interest in the female body transcends the aesthetic, prurient and even the
imperialist reason of study. The focus instead lies within “the body as an object for thinking critically about the place women occupy in societies around the world. These representations force us to rethink what it might mean for women to be embodied agents in a world that constantly threatens to dis-embody them”. As a result, we are forced to rethink social structures and push boundaries, which when merged, create “extimacy” – or “external intimacy”.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


ink on paper mounted on panel
size is 68"x68"

This work is essentially an infographic map of my body. Each of these tiles that are called "girth" tiles (discovered recently for their 5-fold symmetry and ability to tesselate on an infinite plane - they were also widely used in medieval Islamic architecture) contain a body part where a line radiates from each piece outwards. On the tip of each line a number is assigned based on the order in which each body piece should be placed to reconstruct the complete body in its entirety. i.e body part number 542 is the sole of the feet, body part number 541 is the next piece up etc until reaching body part number 1 which would be the tip of the head..   

The slices are derived from  a 3-dimensional scan of my entire body that was then cross sectioned into 1/4" horizontal slices.