In this new body of work, Kahraman explores the transition that happens between a normative human and the other. Depicting contortionists, her figures are placed in seemingly impossible poses, attracting the voyeuristic gaze through an eroticisation and fetishisation of the ‘other’. Yet their faces are undeterred; the gaze is tolerated. This interplay allows for the subjects to be both looked at and to ‘look back at’, subverting the colonizer’s power, and calling attention to the dehumanisation of the colonized.
Hayv Kahraman was born in Baghdad, Iraq and lives and works in Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions include MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2019); Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Netherlands (2019); ICA Boston, Boston, MA (2019) Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design, Honolulu, HI (2019); De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, UK (2019); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2018); Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2018); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2017); and the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE (2016). Her work is featured in several public collections including the British Museum, London, UK; San Diego Museum of Art, CA, USA; LACMA, CA, USA; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL, USA; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; The Barjeel Art Foundation Sharjah, UAE; MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art Doha, Qatar; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, Ohio, USA; North Carolina; Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)