Işıl Eğrikavuk / Vilem Flusser and I (Berlin)
Vilem Flusser and I (2018) by artist Işıl Eğrikavuk
Due to my recent move to Germany, I am thinking a lot about the position of the exile. Even though I am not necessarily a forced exile, however as an artist, as a woman, as an intellectual, an academic, I feel unrooted. In his essay “Exile and Creativity” Vilem Flusser says “(A human) may discover that a human being is not a tree. And that human dignity may consist precisely in not having roots. That the human being becomes human only when she hacks off the vegetable roots that tie her down.” Inspired by Flusser’s text, I did a series of performative photographs, where I pose with used and thrown away Christmas trees in different parts of Berlin everyday for a week in January 2018, thus uniting with the rootless plant.
I CONSIDER THIS POSITION ALSO AS AN ACT OF EMPOWERMENT, MEANING THAT INSTEAD OF BEING THE VICTIM OF THE EXILE CONDITION, WE BECOME GROUNDED IN THE AIR, TOGETHER.
BIO: Işıl Eğrikavuk (PhD) studied Western literature at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) then completed her MFA in Performance Art at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) with Koç Foundation scholarship. She earned her PhD in 2021 from Istanbul Bilgi University, with her thesis titled “From A Political Protest To An Art Exhibition: Building Interconnectedness Through Dialogue-Based Art.” Since 2017, she has lived in Berlin and works as a faculty member at Berlin University of Arts (UdK), Media and Communication Department.
Eğrikavuk is the co-winner of Turkey’s first contemporary art prize, Full Art Prize in 2012. She is also the first recipient of SPOT Production Fund’s artist grant. She has participated in numerous international exhibitions, residencies, and her work has been published in both local and international journals. Recent exhibitions include, Chicago Architecture Biennial (Expected 2021), Die Büehne, Berlin (2019), Art Souterrain, Montreal (2019), Pluto’s Kitchen, Block Universe, London (2017), Every Kind of Myth is Written With Care, Propaganda in 21st Century, Lenbachhaus Museum, Munich (2017), Art of Disagreement, Salt Galata, Ulus, İstanbul, Ankara (2016-2015), 11th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah (2013), Reverse Corner, Solo exhibition, Egeran Gallery, Istanbul (2013), Change Will Be Terrific, Salt Istanbul (2012), 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009), Endgame, South Korea (2009).