Sevil Tunaboylu

Sevil was born in 1982 in Istanbul. Lives and works in Istanbul.

It is experienced on Sevil Tunaboylu’s multi-installation, symbols that
fed on the same root but extremely different from each other return
transitively to the same theme. As it can be met in her earlier works,
there is femininity under the skin of not only her works but also her
practice; in addition to this, and even mostly “being pertained to woman”
is predominant. She represents woman in a situation but still represents
her situation. The case has become the context which describes woman as

In her practice, personal references and anecdotes from her life are
permanently met, a story extending from social to personal, from
corporate to particular is read by strolling around the entire wall. The
wall is wounded with wars, missing persons, memories and Kalashnikov
holes. In spite of the fact that mountain law, guerrilla life, brotherhood
and reciprocal ideology are explicit on this wall which is the narrative
landlady; when we get the root of idea tree, woman is woman who shows
humility to the lens in a coy manner. Mountain is mountain.
On the arrangement which resembles to schematically a requiem wall
where parents exhibit photographs and diplomas of their missing persons;
in spite of the fact that Nawruz Fire, which isn’t jumped over but smokes
by itself on the summit of mountain, arouses highly melancholic feeling,
guerillas’, whose hair tied up to each other, being “unique” is so mundane.
For this reason, do not seek any implication in this narration. These are
little real pills thrown directly from the conscious.
These women are related to each other with their femininity, with their
hair which is a symbol of their femininity and can grow longer after their
death; with more limbic than consociation and with in highly feminine
language on the geography where whoever goes to mountain goes to
the unknown and mountain which can never be perceived as only a
geographical component, but is read as unknown. This is a more private
and closer tie than ideological unity, common problem and consociation.
For this reason, they grow and carry their hair, whose mass and weight
are heavier than their own mass, with them even at the front. This
relation which isolates itself from social context, describes more sensual
and a real alternative connection to modern woman who appears, on this
painting, as if drowning in shallow waters and is constantly struggling for
proving an identity at the same time. At one of the most striking moment
of autonomous way of living which is different from indigenousness, we
come across women combing each other’s hair by sitting in a line on the
hillside on the portrait of the artist.

Strolling around the wall, perception of rootlessness is destroyed suddenly
by the concept of being from a country – belonging, with the utterance
of “As if I was walking to my identity”1. It is a female situation as
much as abandoning nativeness by getting further away from language
prison, and not doing this not for community’s being exploited, being
get impoverished, is forced to migrate, doing this for walking by getting
further away from assimilation policy, as long as walking “finding her
identity”. Maybe, it is the last thing comes to mind, uncommonly and
highly naïve in this chaos.

“She is a little girl in Wonderland, growing and shrinking, like Alice.
Hers is an expression, a possession of not an “accomplished identity” but
of a being process, a body changing constantly, a small part of universal
flow. These are her “minor” existence. Any location on this world doesn’t
describe them. Mostly, swinging of a vibrant line and its intermittent
between “not yet” and “not anymore” complete them. However, social
sciences are incompetent, which is peculiar to them, to search “minority”
cultures. ..”2

On this highly personal work, while the artist is flashing on guerillagirls’
portraits, she looks for an alternative life by focusing on a “found object”
which belongs to her childhood and maidenhood. Bagel, hidden many
years ago for whatever reason, lost its peculiarity and turned into a
memory, is the steadiest backbone between a memory belongs to an
alternative destiny and guerillagirl’s private life. She is aestheticizing
chaos she is in, like guerilla girl. On the other hand, if we don’t think so,
mountains are mountains, bagel is bagel.
Mountain is mountain, woman is woman.
(Gumus Ozdes)

1 Bejan Matur, Dağın Ardına Bakmak, pg.69, Timaş Yay.
** Ulus Baker, Aşındırma Denemeleri, pg.205, Birikim Yay.