Pi Artworks Retrospective Exhibition Nezaket Ekici

Since discovering Eastcastle Street early last year I have regularly visited this side street of small independent galleries tucked away behind the busy commercial buzz of Oxford Street.
In 1998 Pi Artworks was founded by Yesim Turanli and is a gallery that has been dedicated to introducing both Turkish and International contemporary artists to the growing art scene in Istanbul. In 2013, Pi Artworks opened the first Turkish gallery in London on Eastcastle Street. Their most recent exhibition, (After) Love at Last Sight, is the first solo UK Exhibition of Berlin based Turkish performance artist Nezaket Ekici.
The retrospective focuses on the last 13 years of Ekici’s work within performance art and begins with a 3 day live performance of the installation Emotion in Motion. Situated in the far right corner of the gallery space, the room is filled with the artist’s personal belongings. The white space is then covered in pink lipstick kisses by the artist over 3 days. This creates a surrealist replica of Ekici’s living room, a homage to intimate spaces and emotions. There is an apparent interplay between the private and the public space, a consciousness of space and its inhabitants. Even though the artist is no longer present at the time of my visit, her presence is indicated. The traces which have been left resonate beyond the momentary performance and turn art as a process into a semi-permanent piece.
Ekici is the central figure in most of her work, which is often exhaustive in its duration and contains repeated motions. Influences can clearly be traced back to earlier 21st century predecessors of performance, from Abramovic to Chris Burden, which is not surprising as her background includes 3 years of Study under Abramovic at Braunschweig University of Art (HBK). However, although this adds to her legitimacy in the performance field, she stands as an artist in her own right. Using humour and a vigorous personal presence to execute her artistic visions and her work feels surprisingly inclusive, removed from any narcissistic notions. This is largely due to the thematics in her work, addressing issues ranging from human rights, lines between reality and fiction, cultural as well as religious diversity and differences.
Pi Artworks makes a fitting introduction to an artist who deserves an international voice. She combines culturally significant philosophical ideologies and art of the 21st century with current relevant and important social issues, managing to do so with the strong momentary impact that performance and installation art should have. On-top of this, the execution of her work is strong enough to carry its impact beyond the performance or installation itself and the documentations of her work manage to hold most, if not all of the intended impact.
Artist website:
55 Eastcastle Street London W1W 8EG
Tel:+44 207 637 8403
“Emotion in Motion,” performance artist Nezaket Ekici’s 2000 work, was performed again at Pi Artworks, London. (Photo: Prash Guru)

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