Galeri İlayda, Istanbul: MINOR SABOTAGE

Galeri İlayda will be hosting Damla Özdemir’s solo show “MINOR SABOTAGE” between February 5th – March 1st , 2015


Marcus Graf interprets the artist and her new works as fallows: ‘’Damla Özdemir’s work is a great example of a contemporary artist who manages to balance form and content in order to create beautiful and intellectually sophisticated pieces, in which she successfully merges personal stories with socio-political issues. Although she does not consider herself a feminist, the oeuvre shows parallels to feminist criticism in her review of the status quo of women in male-dominated societies.


While doing so, she never slips into a dry political conceptualism or didactic narratives but finds appealing artistic forms, where irony and beauty cause an attractive aesthetic. This is one of the biggest strengths of Özdemir’s work. Besides this, the power of her work is also based on her masterly use of the art of collage as proper artistic method for reacting to today’s complexity. She knows very well how to use its pluralistic and eclectic character for reacting to our fragmental and process oriented world. For the last years, some parts stick out of the surface, become three-dimensional and give the whole work a relief-like character.


Contentually, the collages deal with the problems of how to stay alive in our messed-up world, and how to develop a free and independent identity in it. Also, socio-cultural pressure on women in patriarchy societies, as well as opposition attempts and counter-movements stand in the focus of her conceptual interest.
The current series of collages that she exhibits at Gallery İlayda follows the previous lines of thought, form, and aesthetic. Still, women dominate her works. Though now, the figures are either stronger fragmented as well integrated in groups of others. Different from previous works, where mostly the figure was alone, placed in a rather indefinite space, now, the depicted locations conceptually contribute to the pieces.


So during the observation of the assemblages, as well as traditional and three-dimensional collages, not only the figure but also its surrounding is of importance. This relationship between the protagonist and its environment points to the troubled connection between us and the world. In the end, the often strange figure-context-relation gives her latest pieces a slightly surreal character.


The current series proves that Damla Özdemir’s artistic journey is proceeding very well. Not only her smart play with photographic images, but also the variations of assemblage, as well as traditional and three-dimensional collage in her oeuvre are great. Besides this, the permanently developing contentual as well as compositional character of her work promises that we will see many more strong series in the futures.’’


Art lovers can see the unusual show “MINOR SABOTAGE” in Gallery Ilayda between February 5th – March 1st.

(Marcus Graf: Assoc. Prof. Dr., Yeditepe University, Fine Arts Faculty, Art Management Dept.
Plato Sanat’s Resident Curator, Contemporary Istanbul’s Program Director,’s Art Consultant)