Three Hues of Water
14 December 2019 - 21 February 2020
Zilberman Istanbul

Three Hues of Water focuses on human and non-human relations. The exhibition is an extension of Deniz’s works that were exhibited in the 16th Istanbul Biennial: The Seventh Continent. In this new exhibition, she continues to unfold our relationship with nature, especially with animals. Rights and law making practices concerning non-human entities, history, value systems, losses, extinctions and perception of nature constitute the themes of the exhibition....

"Sorrow (2019), the video-sculpture installation made by the recycled materials from the previous exhibition at Zilberman, Pedro Gómez-Egaña’s ISLANDS, stands in complete contrast to the fast-paced, crowded and even chaotic state of Istiklal Street on which the gallery resides. It carries river streams from the Longoz forests in İğneada, on which a nuclear plant is planned to be built, to the gallery. A catalog of the moments of a stream, this sculpture makes us ponder on the holism that is associated with nature. What does a river encompass? When should a stream get our attention? Can water that runs by itself have rights of its own, can it be a legal person?

In Eluding “humans” (2019) we encounter animals which stay away from people in their natural habitats, as if dodging their wrath. These images are captured by sensor camera traps that were built to investigate the nocturnal animals.

In The Camera Trap of Inequalities (2019), Deniz captures and then deletes the images of the exhibition’s visitors via a camera trap she constructed herself with a motion sensor. The accompanying legal text outlines the legal issues that arise when photographing people. Juxtaposed with Eluding “humans”, The Camera Trap points to the legal differences between photographing human and non-human subjects, whereby one gets to give consent while the other does not.

Inspired by a game she played as a child, Deniz places thorns on our soft and harmless bodies in her video work About Soft Bodied Evils (2019). Two texts by Aristotle and Pliny the Elder from antiquity and an anonymous text from the medieval times placed in the video, pointing toward the historical trajectory of the relationship between humans and nature. Since prehistory, this relationship was shaped through the evil, hypocritical, arrogant, self-absorbed and cruel deeds of humankind, who ironically lack the tusks or claws. With the help of the thorns that plants possess for self-defense, Deniz extricates the evilness and selfishness that is specific to humans from where they hide – under the softness of their bodies.

A new version of her installation History of a particular nameless creek “Insignificants” (2019) that was on view at the 16th Istanbul Biennial, in The Moment of glimpse (2019) Deniz displays the tiny organic and inorganic objects that she collected from outdoors. By unearthing what is otherwise neglected, making it visible and even precious, by giving a gift of a portrait to the woodpecker recently spotted in Longoz forest after being thought as extinct for years, she exhibits her perseverance to not exclude that which is historically and politically taken out of sight." [ Excerpt from the press release. Photo Credits: Kayhan Kaygusuz.