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The Start of Something
© Gülşah Ayla Bayrak

Gülşah Ayla Bayrak »

The Start of Something

Exhibition: – 18 Jun 2023

Sat 4 Feb 13:00 - 15:00

MAQAM

Jan van Schaffelaarplantsoen 2
1061 BS Amsterdam
Mon-Wed 10-18; Thu-Fri 10-21; Sat-Sun 10-18

Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam

+31 (0)20-5516500


www.foam.org

Mon-Wed 10-18; Thu-Fri 10-21; Sat-Sun 10-18

The Start of Something
© Gülşah Ayla Bayrak

How do you convey the experience of Orientalism through images? How is it represented in our daily lives? In the exhibition The Start of Something, Gülşah Ayla Bayrak aims to answer these questions by translating Orientalism's experience, emotion, and ideas into pictures, performances, and objects.

On a school trip to the Louvre Museum, Belgian artist Gülşah Ayla Bayrak encountered the famous oil painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, La Grande Odalisque. Bayrak immediately recognised the references to Turkish culture present in the painting through the textiles, the jewellery and the sensuous figure of an Ottoman court lady. This sexualised and stereotypical representation of her Turkish ancestry made the artist feel uncomfortable. Even more so considering that this painting is part of the classic canon of Western art history. The friction created by this encounter fuelled her creativity and wish to create works that deal with the interplay between East and West.

The Start of Something explores this friction through the concept of Orientalism. The term refers to the way cultures of the East are perceived or imagined by Western writers and artists. It comes from the idea that the West is perceived as the norm or the standard to which the rest of the world is compared. Bayrak draws inspiration from paintings and uses collage or staging to add unexpected layers to her images. A new visual language is created by combining pop and internet culture with cultural symbols. Her work invites the viewer to explore a place where East and West meet as equals: Eurasia.

The Start of Something
© Gülşah Ayla Bayrak

Gülşah Ayla Bayrak (1997) is a multidisciplinary artist from Belgium. She studied Visual arts at Luca School of Arts and did an exchange in South Korea at the Korea National University of Arts as a Fine arts student. Bayrak has roots in Turkey and Georgia, which has strongly influenced her work. The artist creates connections between East and West and tries to overcome the imaginary border between the two continents. The artist focuses on individual experience, cultural diaspora, and society's role in her life.

The Start of Something
© Gülşah Ayla Bayrak