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Gökçen İskender

Gökçen İskender

Gökçen İskender
Turkey
18m2

Exhibition: 18m2 is the size of an average room in your house. Size of a room that you might want to make into a walk-in closet or a library. 18m2 is the size of a room that you would only want to spend a small portion of your time. You would want to move to a different room to raise your children, have tea with your neighbors, or welcome visitors. However, 18m2 is also the average size of a prefabricated house. The average size of the house that Mongolian immigrants live in, that crowded families from Iraqi fleeing war live in, the average size of the rooms that immigrants that come from Congo who speak only French and Lingala. The size of the shacks next to mass housing projects is 18m2. The size of the slums bulldozed down is 18m2, single rooms of small rundown houses on the outskirts of the city are 18m2. This is the story of how a person’s self and the space their life takes place in approach each other slowly; a person’s cellular-ization, pixilation. And this is befitting the spirit of a digital age where people are becoming more and more disembodied. All these crowds and small spaces are reminiscent of the last resting place of people. Your coffin or your mass grave. Nobody can call these “homes”. Because all association of ideas disappear due to the crowdedness, congestion, smell and coldness of these small spaces. They do not reflect taste or provide comfort, and can only satisfy a need. As the city grows in a rachitic manner and gets more and more ugly, our body gets confined to a space that measures 18m2. You can track the trail of natural disasters, migrations, wars, economic crises, politics and power in these cell-like rooms. A person surrenders to nature’s and culture’s fate for him or her in these cell-like rooms, and the body surrenders to the power’s reaching hands.

Biography: Born in İstanbul in 1982, Gökçe İskender graduated from Şükran Ülgezen Anadolu Vocational High School Graphical Design Department. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Photography Department, and her work was displayed at many exhibitions. Since 2010, she continues her photography and graphics work at Çizgili Tasarım Atölyesi.