press release

Hunger - for love, human contact, touch, freedrom.

6 June - 18 July, 2020

In these extraordinary times, in which we are all experiencing isolation in some form, it is like our senses are heightened and our appetite has grown. Therefore, AKINCI presents a group show on Hunger. Hunger for life, love, human contact, touch or freedom, with works by Cevdet Erek, Sarah Naqvi, Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya), Melanie Bonajo and Clarinde Wesselink. Some of these works are made during the quarantine, others obtained new relevance today. We hope Hunger can satisfy your needs and seduce you to meet with the artworks face-to-face again.

Just before the quarantine, Sarah Naqvi had some very precious works shipped from her home country India to the Netherlands. Her work, that boldly addresses political subjects like feminism and feminine vulnerability, gender fluidity and sexuality, is expressed in it’s purest form with these traditionally embroidered vulva’s, body parts and a bloody underpants in flames. The activism in this young artist is admirable, while she manages to express a certain softness through her materials and methods, in which she often reaches back to traditional Indian techniques. Next to the embroidered works, Hunger shows a set of poignant watercolor paintings, that are even as painfully relevant.

Cevdet Erek’s work SSS - Shore Scene Soundtrack is about mimicking the sea, or imitating a very common natural occurrence, by using two hands and a piece of carpet. The work consists of a recording of Cevdet Erek’s hand movements on a synthetic carpet which had been placed on a Steinway Grand piano. The sound of the massaging movements on the carpet create in the viewer’s perception an image: we see a boat at the sea shore, rocking gently back and forth on the waves. Remarkable is that Erek depicts here a landscape through sound. Accompanying the carpet is an instructions book, subtitled Theme and Variations for Carpet, a score so to speak. It also describes the artist’s experience and knowledge gained while performing this work in different places. SSS touches themes like technology, mimicry or imitation, performance and nature or landscape painting.

Gluklya turned to one of her most close and personal forms of artistic production while processing the information and emotions related to the Corona virus: drawing. In colorful, yet sometimes ominous watercolor and pencil drawings, she tells us what social distancing really means. Gluklya’s concept of ‘fragility’ becomes clear once more – a subject that should be interpreted not in the sense of ‘beauty,’ but of ‘invisible strength.’ In her projects, Gluklya addresses the personal stories of her characters, analyzing them and revealing the conflict between political systems and a person’s inner world.

Melanie Bonajo’s TouchMETell, made for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and CineKid in 2019, is a video installation that allows children (and adults) to think and talk about intimacy, their limits and body awareness. Melanie Bonajo and a group of children aged 6-8 investigate how they experience their own body and physical contact with others. Melanie uses open interview techniques and kinesthetic forms of play which take place in a soft, fuzzy, cuddly and multi-colored landscape of different formed objects. ‘What is sex? Does love have anything to do with sex? Can you feel emotional pain in your body? What are feelings? Are you ever lonely?’ With TouchMETell Bonajo wants to initiate a discussion about boundaries, gender roles, physical autonomy and intimacy and the lack of physical contact in this digital age.

AKINCI is proud to introduce the work of Clarinde Wesselink. Clarinde makes portable sculptures, prostheses and suits that directly influence the physical experience of a place and a moment. The artist captures her findings in performances, videos and drawings. Her film Horizon - Tale originates in a physical experience: the scent of freshly squeezed orange juice, the tingling sensation of grass on bare feet, the sudden apparition of elongated shadows in the night under the glow of a lamppost. By wearing a headpiece - a prosthesis, if you will - from which sprouts a long thin bar with a heavy, metal globe on top, you could change your experience of the world. Horizon - Tale shows the wearing of five of such prostheses and how this affects the sensory experience. The actors look like almost mythical creatures, moving through natural sceneries that slowly morph into unearthly, unfamiliar landscapes. In the refined pencil and ink drawings we see the same ongoing research on bodily experiences, laying bare also the artist’s view on recent developments.

Cevdet Erek’s (1974, Istanbul) work is characterized by a marked use of rhythm and site specificity. Erek combines video, sound and images, often in an attempt to alter the viewer’s perception and experience of a given space. Cevdet Erek recently presented his sound installations in solo exhibitions in highly acclaimed international institutions such as ARTER, Istanbul, TR (2020), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, DE (2019/20); Ruhrtriennale, Bochum, DE (2019); The Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2019); InSitu, MuHKA, Antwerp, BE (2018) and MUAC, Mexico City, MX (2017). In 2017, Cevdet Erek presented his monumental sound installation ÇIN in the Turkish Pavillion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Cevdet Erek was nominated for the Jameel Prize 4 (2016) and was awarded for his work ‘SSS’ with the Nam June Paik Award in 2012.

Sarah Naqvi (1996, Mumbai) started a residency at de Ateliers in Amsterdam in 2019. She had her first exhibition at Clark House, Mumbai, IN in 2018. In the same year, she was part of several group exhibitions, o.a. at Para Site, Hong Kong, HK; TS1 Yangon, MM; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, PL; Apexart New York, USA; Conflictorium, Ahmedabad, IN; and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, DE (2019) and Âme Nue, Hamburg , DE (2019). Naqvi has been part of the Forecast Forum Residency, Berlin in 2018. She is the recipient of ‘The Phenomenal she’ award in 2019 conferred by the Indian National Bar Association and NID Ford Foundation Grant in 2018.

Work by Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya, 1969, Leningrad) has been exhibited in group shows as well as solo shows around the world, such as Pushkin House, London, UK (2019); Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE (2019); BOZAR, Brussels, BE (2019); ’Positions 4’, curated by Charles Esche, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, NL (2018/2019); Manchester’s Home, Manchester, UK (2017); Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, DE (2017); Pratt Institute, New York, USA (2016); Hero Mother, Berlin, DE (2016); Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, RU (2014); MMOMA, Moscow, RU (2013); MUMOK Vienna, AT (2013). Gluklya participated with a monumental installation in Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition ‘All The World’s Futures’ at the Venice Biennale in 2015.

Melanie Bonajo (1987, Heerlen) will represent The Netherlands at the 59th Venice Biennale. Melanie Bonajo’s work has been shown in international exhibitions throughout Europe, a.o; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2019/20); Pori Museum (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); Guangzhou Triennial (2018/19); Haus der Kunst, München (2018), Manifesta 12, Palermo (2018), Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (2018); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NL (2018); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2018); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, DE (2017), FOAM Photography Museum, Amsterdam, NL (2016). Melanie Bonajo was nominated for the Nam June Paik Award (2018), the Prix de Rome (2017) and shortlisted for the 57th Venice Biennale (2016). Her film Night Soil - Economy of Love, won an IFFR Tiger Award (2016).

Clarinde Wesselink (1991, Gorssel) is a choreographer and visual artist. She lives and works in Amsterdam where she graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2014. Clarinde recently had a solo exhibition in Sign Projectspace, Groningen, NL (2019). It was the second part in a research after frogs - for the first part she was in residency at Knockvologan Studies on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. In 2019, she presented her work in Prospects & Concepts, Art Rotterdam, NL. Her work Horizon - Tale has been selected for the Fine Arts Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA (29 May - 5 June, 2020).