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Provocation and Criticism by Sukran Moral Debut in Spain

  • Şükran Moral - Married with Three Men, 2010
July 18, 2018
A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

One of the most important museums of modern and contemporary art in Spain, Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma is a catalyst and a vehicle for history, contemporary trends and education. Preserving, documenting and promoting the heritage linked to the collection it holds, it aims to consolidate and disseminate the patrimonial value of what is known as modern and contemporary art.

Every summer, the museum invites an international artist to present a thematic project in the Aljub space. This year, Es Baluard welcomes the Turkish artist Şükran Moral with an aim to highlights the feminist activism. Working in different fields like performance, sculpture, video and photography, Moral challenges gender roles, power structures, the influence of social taboos on people’s private and public life, the mechanisms of art and the politics of representation.

Şükran Moral - Bordello, 1997 (video still)
Şükran Moral – Bordello, 1997 (video still). Video of the performance. © Şükran Moral, 2018

The World From the Inside

Through her artistic practice, Şükran Moral critically approaches gender policies, identitary determinants, the genealogy of violence, otherness, the languages of the body, patriarchal practices, power relations or the fictionalization of reality. Her work comes under the line of artists such as Yoko Ono, Nil Yalter, Carolee Schneemann, Valie Export, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Marina Abramović or Ana Mendieta.

In her pieces, Moral is both the performer and the director, incorporating her own autobiographical experiences to a large extent. Transforming spaces into intervention terrains, she aims to bring about a kind of short circuit in its prescriptive mechanism. Operating on the inside of these spaces, she aims to create an experience of the “world from the inside”.

In the words of the artist, “provocation and criticism are part of my artistic posture”. However, in addition to provoking, she also questions the supposedly historical domains of the world of art with deep irony.

Şükran Moral - Hamam, 1997 (video still)
Şükran Moral – Hamam, 1997 (video still). Video of the performance. © Şükran Moral, 2018

Exhibition Highlights

The selection of works at Es Baluard highlights two outstanding aspects of her artistic work: the first is related to the constant dialogue with the controversial situations of the public and private sphere, while the second is associated to the way in which Moral explores themes of the universe of art, establishing a bridge with contemporary culture.

Some of the highlights of the show are Bordello from 1997, a video performance held in a brothel in Istanbul, which explores the relationships of power; Hammam from 1997, one of her most memorable performances in which the artist entered an exclusively masculine or feminine territory, positioning herself as an object for the visual consumption; and Married with Three Men from 2010, staging a wedding with three young men from Kurdistan, provocatively asking “How Many men does it take to complete a woman?”; among others.

Şükran Moral - Mirror, 2011 (video still)
Şükran Moral – Mirror, 2011 (video still). 3D computer animation. © Şükran Moral, 2018

Sukran Moral Exhibition at Es Baluard

This is the first individual exhibition by Şükran Moral in Spain.

The exhibition Şükran Moral. The World from the Inside will be on view at Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma in Palma, Spain until September 9th, 2018.

Featured image: Şükran Moral, Married with Three Men, 2010 (video still). Video of the performance. © Şükran Moral, 2018. All images courtesy of Es Baluard.