Nilbar G?re?

b. 1977. Lives and works in Vienna and Istanbul. Nilbar G?re? received a BA in Painting at Marmara University, Istanbul, and MA in Painting & Graphics from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Major recent exhibitions are S?o Paulo Biennial (2014), Berlin Biennale (2010) and Istanbul Biennial (2009). Selected recent solo shows include “Self-Defloration,” K?nstlerhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart (2011), “Nilbar G?re?,” Iniva, London (2010-2011). She completed a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York supported by the Austrian Government in 2012.

Open Phone Booth, 2011
3 channel synchronization video, 16:9, 33 min. 46 sec.
닐바 귀레쉬
Courtesy the artist, Rampa (Istanbul) and Gallery Martin Janda (Vienna)
… The project was born out of G?re?’s occasional visits to her father’s hometown, a Kurdish and Alevi (an ethno-religious minority in Turkey) village in East Anatolia. The village is severely lacking in infrastructure; there is no school or hospital, water shortage and power cuts are part of daily life, and there is still no telephone network in the village. Eight other Alevi villages in the region suffer from similar governmental discrimination…
One of the most drastic changes in their lives has been the advent of communication technologies. A telephone network was introduced during the 1970s but villagers had to go to the village headman’s office to make a phone call. After a short time, that line was cut. Though a phone network was promised and the villagers paid the required fees, the village remains without a telephone network. In 2005, villagers began to benefit from new communication technologies, and most use mobile phones. Though connectivity has been limited in the valley, they are finally able to connect with the rest of the world…
G?re?’s work focuses on the gap between the current picture, controlled by the state, and the direction of global changes. The mobile phone industry as a global force introduced mobility in access to communication. The three screen video installation Open Phone Booth (2010-2011) is about this tragicomic reality. It shows the villagers climbing up the hills in order to make phone calls, and their attempts to catch phone reception. The villagers, at different ages and in different groups, are filmed during different seasons of the year. Sometimes in snowstorms or sunny blue skies, sometimes alone or with company. One who wants to contact the rest of the world from this village has to struggle for access to communicate. The seasons, the light and the landscape change in the film; some conversations take longer and sometimes the connection is desperately lost, but up in the hills the villagers are always free to call. [Adnan Yildiz, “The Village of Exception,” 2011]
Open Phone Booth-2, 2014
Mixed media on fabric, triptych, 106×95 cm (left), 106×91.5 cm (middle), 107×104 cm (right)
닐바 귀레쉬2
Courtesy the artist, Rampa (Istanbul) and Gallery Martin Janda (Vienna)
The first part of this collage is a pattern made out of a piece of colorful fabric. The pattern resembles a bunch of flowers in which there is a black hole and missing flower and landline telephone with its wire is visible.
In the second part of the collage, the middle part of the triptych, you follow the missing part of the flower of the first part on a hill top with a mobile phone.
The second and the third part of the collage are connected to each other with the light trail of a Heron, a long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle made by Israel Aerospace Industries. Initially, it was used for high-altitude land surveillance and maritime patrol missions. The Heron has been adopted as a surveillance device by the Turkish military. [Nilbar G?re?]