Berat Işık

Are you still alive?, 2016

Philography, Pin and thread technique
40x60x2 cm

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Berat Işık’s solo exhibition Are You Still Alive? consists of works that the artist produced, completed or revised during 2015 and 2016 specifically for this exhibition. Inspired by the Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara’s work “I am Still Alive”, which involves 900 telegrams sent to colleagues and friends, the title refers to the city of Diyarbakır and its hinterland, and the lack of communication between those inhabiting it and the rest of the world.

          The exhibition title also refers to a work the artist had planned to produce together with inmates of Diyarbakır Prison. Since the crafts workshops carried out with prisoners are cancelled due to the state of emergency, the project was completed by a crafts instructor in Istanbul, using a peculiar handicraft technique known as pin and thread art that is often used by prisoners in the region. An unknown inquirer poses an ambiguous question, one that so often appears in peoples’ minds after yet another explosion has taken place: By being led to think about his or her beloved ones, the beholder is induced to share that deep feeling of insecurity so painfully familiar to the people of the Diyarbakır region, both inside and outside of prisons.

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