İpek Duben (b. 1941, Istanbul) lives and works in Istanbul.
İpek Duben uses different production processes including painting, sculpture, installation, artist book, video and sound installations. Her primary focus areas and topics include the concepts of memory, identity, alienation, gender and migration.
İpek Duben's 'foreign' or 'other' identity in the interest of Turkey in the year 1970, which represents a typical Anatolian immigrant women Sheriff's iconic image of image series (1981) begins with. Duben's interest in identity and alienation issues continues with Manuscript (1994), which consists of a text and a poem presented to the audience as a multimedia installation that is not based on narrative but contains autobiographical elements. Here, the artist focuses on her identity as a modern woman seeking a place for herself in the Islamic tradition.
Duben's work on 'foreign' and 'other' identities develops with her research on the West's view of Turkish identity and prejudices, and constitutes the main theme of her two important works: News From The West (1997) and What is a Turk? (2003). In They / They (2015), a multimedia video installation, Duben explores how the majority in society sees the 'other' according to them and how these marginalized people perceive each other. From Duben's interactive installations that reveal her ongoing effort to reach her audience, the twin focusing on domestic violence installation In LoveGame and LoveBook (2001) this is experienced again. LoveBook, women's murders in Turkey and America is a book documenting steel with hand-printed sheet steel.
Forced migration is another issue Duben is working on. In Farewell My Homeland (2004), which consists of an artist's book and multimedia installation, it covers the 20th century starting from the Balkan Wars. In this study Duben reflects on the psychological impact of forced migration and the moment of 'crossing borders'. The same conceptual material has been updated to include the 21st century in the prominent installation of the artist, who wants to emphasize the endless continuation of historical events, in via incognita (2018). This time, the exhibition includes portraits in which the artist crafted names on photographs, as she seeks to show the personal existence of every victim in this endless story.
Among her selected personal exhibitions; Angels and clowns, Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2020); in via incognito, Pi Artworks London, UK (2018); LoveGame (solo), Stairs Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); THEY / THEM, Fabrica, Brighton, England (2017) and Salt Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2015) is located. Among the selected group exhibitions; Social Work, Frieze London, London, UK (2018); Supposedly the other, 4.M Mardin Biennial, Mardin, Turkey (2018); Curated by Venetia Porter, Poetry and Exile, British Museum, London, England (2014); 3rd European International Book Art Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2014); 5. Bibliotheca Alexandria International Biennale for the Artist's Book, Alexandria, Egypt (2014); Mother, Am I Barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); Imagination and Reality, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); A Dream ... But Not Yours, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA (2010) and New Works New Horizons, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey (2009) is located.
Among the selected collections in which her works are included; British Museum, London, England; Vienna Museum, Vienna, Austria; The Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt; King St. Stephen Museum, Szekesfehervar, Hungary; Museum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden, The Netherlands; Istanbul Modern, Turkey; Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul; Zorlu Foundation, Istanbul and Center for Book Arts, New York, USA.