Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul: New Babylon

12/11/2014 – 10/01/2015

The process of change and transformation in The Middle East is a recurring theme in Siti’s work. He portrays unique landscapes with metaphorical mountains, elements from the architectural heritage and wide plains; the drawings project propositions that are as stylistic as they are poetic.

New Babylon focuses on the structures that people have built in the past: pyramids, ziggurats and towers, which have been shaped by the very idea of “reaching further and further up”, transforming into a dynamic and endless movement that is visually demonstrated with the ladders, which are the most basic structural element of Siti’s sculptures.

The ever-changing realities of power structures and hasty developments in Middle Eastern societies create a fragile and uncertain future for the people. It is projected through both the space and depths of the structures that the artist has stacked against one another using his idiosyncratic, metaphoric and plain-yet-poetic language. The visual grammar of Siti’s artistic language connects the past and the future by telescoping time.

 

Creating a contrast with the bitter reality of these troubled lands, these delicate structures track another reality, in contradiction with destructive and invasive aspirations such as the conquest for power and victory. As these meticulously and patiently stacked towers advance towards the sky, they also keep hope alive when it is most needed.

New Babylon can be visited at Galeri Zilberman at the third floor of Mısır Apartmanı from November 12 until January 10.

 

Walid Siti (b. 1954, Duhok, Kurdistan-Iraq) lives in London. He graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1976, and from 1977-1982 studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia, for a BA and MA in printmaking. He moved to London in 1984 and has since focused on exploring different mediums including, painting, drawings and installation. He has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, in US, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. He is represented the Iraqi Pavilion at 54th Venice Biennial in 2011. His work is in many public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York; The British Museum in London; Victoria & Albert Museum; The National Gallery of Amman, Jordan; and The World Bank and The Iraq Memory Foundation, both in Washington DC, Barjeel Art Foundation, UAE.

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