Nilbar Gures /   Nilbar Güres

Turkey 1977

Photography, Video Art, Collage

Nilbar Gures
Nilbar Güres
May 28, 2016
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

Where does our destiny lay? What the journey carries along? How do we become what we are, who shapes us? Nilbar Güreş is a Turkish contemporary artist who seeks answers to these questions. She is interested to find out how exactly society and politics merge to depict each and every individual destiny. Notable for her idiosyncratic approach to a variety of media, Güreş’ work stands out through its engagement with the questions of identity, sex, gender, politics, all wrapped in humor. How the meaning of homosexual love is dominated by patriarchal structures in a society, and similar normative conventions and stereotypical representations are confronted to great effect.

Nilbar Gures - Escaping Cactus, 2014. Image via Galerie Martin Janda
Nilbar Güreş – Escaping Cactus, 2014

The Power of Narrative

Her work is based on photography, but the finished pieces are far from being simply categorized as photographs. She intends for the characters to be in constant motion while being photographed, but it’s not the type of motion that’s usually seen in movies. Instead, it’s more the capturing of a single moment while the figures are involved in the natural action. Through her delicate collages, Güreş successfully brings together several different techniques, such as embroidery, painting, drawing, and appliqué. The scenes seemingly offer less narrative than her photography, but if the viewers carefully follow the individual scenes, the broad and thematically cohesive social-political issues emerge.

There’s a variety of social-political issues in her collages

Nilbar Gures - Pasta Eating Woman, 2014. Image via Galerie Martin Janda
Nilbar Güreş – Pasta Eating Woman, 2014

The Critique

She earned her BA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marmara University in Istanbul, and her MA in Painting and Graphics from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Güreş’ body of work is performative and active, with the process usually beginning with the idea for a collage, a glimpse that must be caught and written down, or they’ll be lost. The artist doesn’t separate her collages from videos or photos, as the ideas of them all always reflect on each other, they’re simply done in different techniques and different mediums. There are elements of a universal undertaking, because of the ever-present critique of politics and hetero-normativity. The pieces seem to be oriented especially on Turkey, but the artist states that she observes the issues as international problems, not limited to just one country, one culture, or one religion. ‘’Everyone’s issues are everyone’s issues since we all are human beings. ‘’

She observe the issues as international and not limited to one country

Nilbar Gures - The Living Room, 2010. Image via Galerie Martin Janda
Nilbar Güreş – The Living Room, 2010

The International Visual Language

Turkey is definitely a rising star on the international art scene, and there are many artists from there who are forging a name for themselves. Nilbar Güreş belongs to the generation of the strong female artists from Turkey, whose subjects and themes surpasses the borders of their homeland, and instead are developing an international visual language, appreciated in all corners of the globe. Güreş tackles the issues of gender, identity, sex, and politics, hoping to expose the unfairness of the existing social norms, and create the world where each and every one of us is free to be who we really are, without a fear of being judged by a people around.

Nilbar Güreş lives and works in Vienna.

Featured image: Nilbar Güreş – portrait
All images courtesy of Galerie Marin Janda

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Nilbar GuresRampa Istanbul, Istanbul, TRSolo
2016Open Phone BoothThe Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, ISRSolo
2016The Future Is Already Here – It s Just Not Evenly Distributed20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, AUGroup
2016Let us cultivate our gardenCappadox, Contemporary Art Programme Cappadox, Uchisar, Nevsehir, TRGroup
2016South by Southeast. A Further SurfaceGuangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, CNGroup
2016SHE DEVIL 8 - IN THE MIRRORStudio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, ITGroup
2016Poetics of ChangeMuseum der Moderne, Salzburg, ATGroup
2016Shape of Time – Future of NostalgiaMuzeul National de Arta Contemporana, Bucharest,, ROGroup
2016Freundschaftsspiel Istanbul : FreiburgMuseum fur Neue Kunst, Freiburg, DEGroup
2015Artists in Their TimeIstanbul Modern, Istanbul, TRGroup
2015Sweet UnionSofia Queer Forum 2015, Sofia, BGGroup
2015Survival K(nit 7 contemporary art festivalLatvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga, LVGroup
2015MindsetsStudio Gallery, Budapest, HUGroup
2015Istanbul: Passion, Joy, FuryMAXXI, Rome, ITGroup
2015Rainbow in the DarkMalmo Konstmuseum, Malmo, SEGroup
2015Kardinal Konig KunstpreisKunstraum St. Virgil, Salzburg, ATGroup
2015How to, … things that don t existan exhibition developed out of the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, PTGroup
2015BC21 BostonConsulting & Belvedere Contemporary Art Award 201521er Haus, Wien, ATGroup
2015So wilde Freiheit war noch nie. Fur Christine LavantKunstraum Lakeside, Klagenfurt, ATGroup
2015IllusionRAMPA, Istanbul, TRGroup
2015Cappadocia StruckContemporary Art Programme Cappadox, Uchisar, Nevsehir, TRGroup
201531st Sao Paulo Bienal Touring ProgramSESC Campinas, Sao Paulo; SESC Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Sao Paulo, BR; Museu de Arte Murilo Mendes, Juiz de Fora, BRGroup
2015uberschonheitSalzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, AT Group
2014Nilbar GuresJesuitenFoyer, Vienna, ATSolo
2014Nilbar GuresFO.KU.S – Foto Kunst Stadtforum, Innsbruck, ATSolo
2014The Moving Museum IstanbulSishane Otopark, Istanbul, TR Group
2014On the moment of change there is always a new threshold of imaginationArtspace, Auckland, NZGroup
2014ShortGalerie Martin Janda, Vienna, ATGroup
2014How to, ... things that don t exist31st Bienal de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, BRGroup
2014Fair PlayMAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome, ITGroup
2014Fragile Sense of HopeACT - Art Collection Terlekom, me Collectors Room-Stiftung Olbricht, Berlin, DEGroup
2014Square(sFrancois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, USGroup
2014Meeting Points 7: Zehntausend Tauschungen und hunderttausend Tricks21er Haus, Wien, ATGroup
2014Hier und Jetzt-Hic et Nunc. 10 kunstlerische Interventionen im JubilaumsjahrStift Klosterneuburg, Klosterneuburg, ATGroup
2014Ghosts, Spies and GrandmothersSeMA Biennial, Mediacity Seoul, Seoul, KRGroup
2014AGITATIONISMEVA International Ireland's Biennial, Limerick City, Ireland, IEGroup
2014Kunsttriennale fur zeitgenossische KunstSion im Wallis, CHGroup
2014Customs Made: Quotidian Practices and Everyday RitualsMaraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAEGroup
2014Desiring the Real. Austria ContemporaryEuropian Parliament, Strassbourg, FR, Art Gallery of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, BIH, Moskau-Nischnij Nowgorod, RUGroup
2014One Night StandKW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DEGroup
2014Private MattersApexart, New York, USGroup
2014WoWmen!Kaai Theather, Brussels, BEGroup
2014Feminis-Arte IICentroCentro Cibeles, Madrid, ESGroup
2013Nilbar GuresOsmos, New York, NY, USSolo
2013Nilbar Wien-NaGalerie Martin Janda, ATSolo
2013Open Phone BoothRampa, Istanbul, TRSolo
2013New Continent: A Selection From the Video Collection of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art İstanbul Modern – ChinaMinsheng Art Museum, CHGroup
2013Desiring the realDepo, Istanbul, TRGroup
2013Unknown ForcesTophane-i amire, Istanbul, TRGroup
2013S/HE IS THE ONEKunstraum Niederosterreich, Vienna, ATGroup
2013Game ChangerMeadow Bank Sports Centre, Art Festival Edinburgh, GBGroup
2013Nouvelles Vagues-A History of InspirationPalais de Tokyo, Paris, FRGroup
2013Istanbul Modern - BahrainBahrain National Museum, Manama, BHGroup
2013hetero q.b.Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon, PTGroup
2013new, closer, togetherSofia Contemporary, Sofia, BGGroup
2013Zeichen, Gefangen im Wunder. Auf der Suche nach Istanbul heuteMAK Vienna, Vienna, AT; Kunstverein Hannover, DEGroup
2013Envy, Enmity, EmbarrassmentARTER, Istanbul, TRGroup
2013At the Gender BazaarMusee des civilisations de l Europe et de la Mediterranee, Marseilles, FRGroup
2012Rosa Arbeiter auf goldener StrasseAkademie der bildenden Kunste in Wien, ATGroup
2012Eastern VistasSmiths Row Gallery, Bury St Edmunds, UKGroup
2012Arrivals and Departures 2012: MediterraneanMole Vanvitelliana, Ancona, ITGroup
2012Desiring the RealMuseum MUAC, Mexico City, MXGroup
2012Rapid Pulse Performance Festival, Defibrillatorperformance art gallery, Chicago, USGroup
2012Life is ElsewhereGalerie im Kornerpark, Berlin, DEGroup
2012In Which Language shall I tell my Story…Steldelijk Museum, Schiedam, NLGroup
2012Desiring the RealMOCAB Museum Of Contemporary Art, Belgrad, RSGroup
2012PassageGalerie Martin Janda, Vienna, ATGroup
2012Wie zusammen leben?Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, ATGroup
2012Der Mensch. Der FlussNational Gallery Sofia, Sofia, BEGroup
2012Istanbul ModernMuseum Boijmans Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL Group
2011Self-DeflorationKunstlerhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart, DESolo
2011Nilbar Gures, UndressingEIKON SchAUfenster: quartier21-MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, ATSolo
2011Nilbar GuresRampa, Istanbul, TRSolo
2011Der tagliche Aufstandrotor association for contemporary art, Graz, ATGroup
2011Dream and RealityIstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, TRGroup
2011Responding to the New MoonGalerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin, DEGroup
20111. International Photo FestivalBursa, TRGroup
2011TolerabilisToskanische Saulenhalle im Zeughaus, Augsburg, DEGroup
2011Der Mensch der FlussDonauschwabisch Central Museum Ulm, DEGroup
2011The Daily Uprisingrotor association for contemporary art, Graz, ATGroup
2011Austria Davaj!Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow, RUGroup
2011Tactics of InvisibilityARTER, Istanbul, TRGroup
2011Zwolf im ZwolftenTanas, Berlin, DEGroup
2011Never that's when...Open Space Systems - Zentrum fur Kunstprojekte, Vienna, ATGroup
2010Nilbar Gures: Window Commission 2010INIVA Institute of International Visual Art, Rivington Place, London, UKSolo
2010Ex-TerritoryTel Aviv, ILGroup
2010Tactics of InvisibilityTANAS, Berlin, DEGroup
2010Where do we go from here?Secession Vienna, Vienna, ATGroup
20106th Berlin BiennaleBerlin, DEGroup
2010Curated byGalerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, ATGroup
2010StarterArter, Istanbul, TRGroup
2010On PaperStalke Gallery, Kirke Sonnerup, DKGroup
2010Not a Lens But a PrismaEugenio de Almeida Foundation, Evora, PTGroup
2010The OthersMuseo d Arte Contemporanea della Sicilia, ITGroup
2010Derriere le rideau, une generation hors d elle …Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, FRGroup
2010Tactics of InvisibilityThyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, ATGroup
2010Ankara-ViennaGallery Nev, Ankara, TRGroup
2009Unknown Sports, Indoor ExercisesSalzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, ATSolo
2009Performance und Gender, Politik, Soziale Fragen und Intercultural StudiesFotogalerie, Vienna, ATGroup
200913 Lessons in Performance ArtScreening at Cinema TOP, Vienna, ATGroup
2009The Future is Analogue-LomographyMAK Vienna, Vienna, ATGroup
2009Video in Progress 3: Performans za videoCenter Urbane Kulture Kino Siska, Ljubljana, SIGroup
2009quelques images de la scene turque contemporaineMuseum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, FRGroup
2009Performance-FrameGallery Anita Beckers, Frankfurt, DEGroup
2009What Keeps Mankind Alive? 11th International Istanbul BiennialIstanbul, TRGroup
2009Red ThreadTANAS, Berlin, DEGroup
2009The Seen and The Hidden: Dis_covering The VeilAustrian Cultural Forum, New York, USGroup
2009Video in Progress 3Gallery Photon, Ljubljana, SIGroup
2009Photonic Moments IVProArtOrg, Belgrade, RSGroup
2009PositionenDrei Drostei-Haus des Barock und der Moderne, Pinneberg, DEGroup
2009Unfair ProvocationHafriyat Karakoy, Istanbul, TRGroup
2008Emergency ExitOutlet Gallery, Istanbul, TRGroup
2008Bewegte BilderDeutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, DEGroup
2008Ansichten WienGalerie Kroart, Vienna, ATGroup
2008Try, Live - Photonic MomentsGallery Photon, Ljubljana, SIGroup
2008Urban Jealousy, 1st International Roaming Biennial of TehranTehran, IRGroup
2008World One MinutesToday Art Museum, Beijing, CNGroup
2008Permanent Waiting RoomSocial Centre TPO, University of Bologna, Political department Bologna, IT, Ajdovsina, Ljubljan, SI,Group
2008Soho in Ottakring FestivalVienna, AT Group
2008UnknownSeven Seven Contemporary Art, London, UKGroup
2008Seems to beTiroler Kunstlerschaft, Innsbruck, ATGroup
2008AbwesendSoho in Ottakring, Vienna, ATGroup
2007Open Artist StudiosBMSuma Contemporary Arts Center, Istanbul, TRGroup
2007Be realistic, aim for the impossible!Karsi Sanat Art Gallery, Istanbul, TRGroup
2007Imagine there is an Art WorkBMSuma Contemporary Arts Center, Istanbul, TRGroup
20075th International Filmmor Women s Film FestivalFrench Cultural Center Istanbul, TR Italian Cultural Center Istanbul, TR, Agrı, TR, Diyarbakır,, TR, Van, TRGroup
2006Art auction: human rightsMAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, ATGroup
2006Arabesque Superi Lothringer13ier gallery, Munich, DEGroup
2006Wir machen das schon wieder, We`re doing it againAndreas Huber Galerie, Vienna, ATGroup
2005Hot Spots-Emerging ArtistsCollection Essl, Klosterneuburg, ATGroup
2003Installation for Marcus OmofumaAfrikadorf, Stadtpark Vienna, Vienna, ATGroup
2003New Suggestions - New ProposalsBorusan Gallery, Istanbul, TRGroup