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 lightboxes 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 three-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 subordinate to 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 disembody them." As a result, we
are forced to rethink social structures and push boundaries, which when
merged, create "extimacy"—or "external intimacy."
Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1981 and
is a graduate of the Academy of art and design in Florence. Recent solo
exhibitions include Pins and Needles, The Third Line, Dubai;
Waraq, Frey Norris, San Francisco; and Seven gates,
Green Cardamom, London. Recent group exhibitions include: The Jameel
Tour, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Institute de Monde Arabe,
Paris; Museum of Fine Art Houston; Casa Arabe, Madrid; Disquieting
Muses, Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki, State Museum of
Contemporary Art, Greece (2011); Of women's modesty and anger, Villa
Empain Center for the Arts, Brussels (2011); Taswir,
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2010); Unveiled: New art from the Middle
East, Saatchi gallery, London (2009). Kahraman currently lives and
works in Oakland, California.
About The Third Line
The Third Line is a Dubai-based art gallery that represents
contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and
internationally. In addition to ongoing exhibitions, The Third Line hosts
nonprofit, alternative programs to increase interest and debate in the
region. Represented artists include Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H.
Fallah, Arwa Abouon, Babak Golkar, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad
Elkoury, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Huda Lutfi, Joana
Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Lamya Gargash, Laleh Khorramian, Monir
Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Shirine Guirguis,
Shirin Aliabadi, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Tarek Al- Ghoussein and
Kaysi, Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org /
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