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Skope= To View

Beral Madra

The pertinent question in today’s art is "How should an artist work in order to ster clear off  the annoying prerequisites of "total marketability"? Evidently there is no concrete prescripton for this behaviour, yet one can follow strategies of steering in the work of the artist as well as the curator. Taking the art work into the public space, giving the artist  the opportunity to develop a project with interactive possibilities or inviting the artist  to a colloctive workshop are some of strategies with successful results. Espite the attemp of creating alternative spaces for art production, the conservative approach to the artist, portraying him as the society entertainer or as an extravagant individual is stil prevailing. Consequently the artist needs and exploits platforms and events to challenge this prejudice. Since 1996, Neriman Polat’s work followed this path, mostly  participating in group shows realized in non- profit galleries and public spaces, instigated by the artists themselves and supported with long term discussion sessions. Polat’s work  playing with the potential of the viewer to see things beyond consumerism and media image consists of photographs, video tapes, and installations made with this these material. Although she modestly says that she documents the imprints of my surroundings and myself and that straight forward documentation fails to hold her attention,
we can distinguish in her work a certain complex  act of observing herself, witnessing the peculiarities of resemblances and marginal identities, examining the stereotype behaviour of unsuspecting individuals and their environment. In her series of " His Own Reality", "Sisters", "Blondes", "Photo- Graves", and "Tourists" she shows the multi- difference
in detail but on the other side she  reveals the- ever present collectivity caused by the functions of the capitalism. In these images "resemblance" becames a tool for her to circumvent the desire of the viewer for pseudo- originality and find a safe gound for critical thinking.

In her current work, which she produced for the exhibition "The Sphinx will devour you", March 2004  in Istanbul( Karşı Sanat) dealing with the mythological narration of women  as a creature and the Oedipus complex, she has documented a performance and installed it as a fragmented collection of images on a standard so called "bath blue" painted wall. The performans is based on the complexity of "intimacy", "purification", "guilt" and carried out as
an act of self-observation. Even if voyeurism is "looking  at naked people, most often without their knowledge", we can think that this is a kind of self inflicted voyeurism, and act of viewing herself consciously and letting people to view the  security and contentment of purification, but the disastrous character of a crime scene;it is obscene.Here, Polat juxtaposes the innocent concept of purification and its interpretation within the masculine dominated society. Her performans and documentation can be associated with the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu: And, women themselves apprehend all reality, and in particular the power relations in which they are held, throught schemes of thought  that are the product of embodiment of those power relations and which are expressed in the founding oppositions of the symbolic order."

*Pierre Bourdieu, masculine Domination,  Polity Press, 2001, p.34