İnci Eviner Retrospective: Who's Inside You?


22 June - 27 November 2016

This retrospective of İnci Eviner, put together by Istanbul Modern, showcases the artist’s creative process from the 1980s to the present. It allows us to see the development and transformation of her rich search for expression, which extends from drawing, painting, and video to installation, photography, and sculpture. The presentation of Eviner’s artistic output is not strictly chronological, but rather interweaves past and present, and even incorporates the exhibition space itself.

Drawing is central to Eviner’s works; she defines the point of departure of her practice as expressions made through lines on paper. She builds and constantly enriches her artistic approach, strolling through a boundless visual language ranging from art historical allegories, iconographies, illustrations, and mythologies to contemporary ideograms and pictograms. Weaving together the violence at the heart of the beautiful, the potential of the repressed, and the unmatched creativity of the unconscious, her works appear simultaneously contemporary and timeless.

A pioneering artist who has been influential in the transformation of Turkish contemporary art, Eviner has developed a unique mode of expression regarding the different states of womanhood, gender, and the politics of identity in their collective, political, and sociocultural aspects. Investigating the historical, discursive, and unconscious processes that influence our views of female identity starting in childhood, the artist defines womanhood as a field of limitless possibility that does not fit any single image or concept. Exploring the quotidian gestures of women, Eviner not only questions but challenges the modes of representation judged appropriate for women and the prohibitions that engender these representations.

In terms of the diversity of her areas of interest and research, İnci Eviner is undoubtedly one of the most creative and contemporary artists of her generation. The exhibition brings together an inventory that spans close to forty years and reveals the rich and profound connections she establishes both with herself and with the unity of art, culture, history, nature, and the unconscious that makes us human.

The works in the exhibition may lend themselves to many sub-readings emerging from interdisciplinary intersections, but the main axes of Eviner’s art can be enumerated under the following headings: art historical references deriving from her academic training and contemporary questions regarding the symbolic meanings of these references; expressions triggered by existence and the unconscious; the complex nature of humans; our memorized behavioral models and the thin civilizational line that separates us from animals; all the constructed grand narratives and all the fields of power into which these seep; Cartesian knowledge formed within the body-identity-geography triangle and the visual and oral publications, resources, and historical documents in which this knowledge is reflected and which monopolize thought; and the present effects of modernist politics conceived along the East-West axis and the transgressions, migrations, and refugeeism that breach these effects.

Eviner was born in Ankara in 1956 and lives and works in Istanbul.

Curator: Levent Çalıkoğlu

Assistant Curator: Senem R. Kantarcı

Photo gallery: Barış Aras & Elif Çakırlar



New Citizen I-II-III, 2009

365 x 832 cm

Dimensions variable

Mural acrylic, three videos, color without sound

Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation Collection / Long Term Loan

Main page image:
Who’s Inside Me?, 2006, Ink on paper, 30x21 cm
Zeynep - Metin Fadıllıoğlu Collection


Exhibition Sponsor