Nalan Yırtmaç

Nalan was born in 1969 in Istanbul. Lives and works in Istanbul.

Combining the daily and the colloquial with her political and social
sensitivities in her artistic practice Nalan Yırtmaç addresses the evercurrent
problem of Turkey, worker deaths. Sometimes equated with
fate, forced upon like an inevitable, mostly reduced to mere casualties
worker deaths first made headlines with the successive “work
accidents” in Tuzla Dockyards in 2008. At the time Nalan Yırtmaç
produced a series of stencils on the deaths in Tuzla Dockyards as well
as guestarbetier in Germany.

Since 2005 the state of workers left to die without any social security
after catching terminal organ failure from jean stoning workshops,
workers dying in hydroelectric plant constructions, death of women
workers in a locked down shuttle, death of 11 consturction workers
with the fire in their tents show that we live in a country burdened
with a lack of labor safety.

One of the earlier stencils from the series is exhibited in Canakkale.
The spreyed cheerful workers with their dirty outfits on lyric floral
wallpaper evoke the all too familiar worker image. At first the conflict
of the floral background to the black siluets of the workers creates
a contradicting image but once you start considering human labour
is present in everything from our daily bread to the machine we do
our laundry this contradiction gains new layers. Stencil method,
reduces the worker’s faces to their characteristics, makes them each
anonym but also typical. A nameless person from this heap reduced
to statistics, casualty numbers, victims of fate can fall to a “work
accident” at any minute. After appearing on the papers for a few days
and following his record in the worker statistics he disappears from
our life. If this continues worker deaths will increase as the number of

Art sometimes undertake the responsibility to reminding, taking notes
in time. Nalan Yırtmaç utilizing a volatile technique of street art and
nourishing from the tensions between remembering and forgeting,
leaving a mark and disappearing salutes the workers struggling on the
tightrope of life and death in her work on memory and the lack of it.
-Deniz Erbaş