Zilberman Projects–Istanbul presents Serra Behar’s exhibition “Sleepwalkers” at its project venue.
A multidisciplinary artist working in the field of sculpture, installation and interactive elements, Serra Behar presents her project as the continuation of a dream in the same level as the gallery space in a way that the project becomes a venue-specific integrative installation. Insofar as her artistic practice is predominantly based on conceptuality and material, Behar is describing the artists as individuals who “embody stories,” and communicates with the viewer the concretized output of her interest in esoteric matters. She uses the techniques of animation to energize the material such as leather, radiogram, real bones, polyester, electronic cables and antique furniture that she uses in her works.
Once entered into the project space, the viewer faces with pillows that lie on the corner as a representation of self-alienation, the initial step of the state of forgetting and acceptance of one’s being in the sleep, all which is endemic to our current era. The pillows are leading the viewer towards an interior room where a bedhead of almost three-meter-long is present and links with the exhibition’s mise en scène. The bedhead that Behar found in a junk shop is nurtured with an Art Deco style and post-apocalyptic visuality. One leg stuck in the concrete and the other wrapping to a greenery, the bedhead is getting monumental with its similarity to an arch.
The story that the artist has gradually built ends with a found wooden icon whose circular hollows are reminiscent of the eyes. The plastic lambs that the artist places inside these hollows describe a generation that stand for awakening. The absence of lambs in some of the hollows –hollows that might be perceived as concretizing a sort of iconoclasm– are in fact the representation of an escape. Moreover, visitors are accompanied, throughout the exhibition, by the lullabies in Persian, Serbian, Ladino and Turkish languages the source of which is a chorus made up of different ethnic origins that the artist put together. And these lullabies are there as a reference to a system which makes us sleep.
In her solo exhibition, “Sleepwalkers,” Behar is tackling with the sleep-dream discourse and focuses on the state of illusion and living in a parallel universe. Hers is an invitation for us to think upon the way we purposefully fall asleep and wear masks.
Serra Behar was born in Istanbul in 1977. Living and working in Istanbul, the artist holds a bachelor’s degree from the Scenery, Costume and Puppet Design Department in Mimar Sinan University where she also did her master’s on sculpture. Following her education on Experiential and Conceptual Design at Nottingham Trent University, she exhibited her first artistic projects in various venues in the UK. Behar’s most recent solo and group exhibitions include: To Remember, Adahan (Istanbul, 2017); Artists Pick Artists, .artSümer (Istanbul, 2016); Grace of Another World, .artSümer (Istanbul, 2015); Self-portrait, .artSümer (Istanbul, 2012); Contemporary Istanbul (2012); Paradise Bird, Gallery Bonnington (UK, 2010)all images © the gallery and the artist(s)