“SILENCIA” – SILENCE

… The lack of male fertility directed men to an ‘artificial creation’. He didn’t hesitate to establish his power also in this area. Although as a minority, everytime – like today – there are surely some “different” women who dare to keep in step with what men do. There’s still a discrimination like “women art” and they ignore women artists.

That’s why intellectual women transform themselves into men in order to get what they deserve to get in this system of manly power. One day they wake up and find themselves transformed. They had got physical power, deeper voice and their psychological state had changed. At last they had got rid of their fears and become the captains of their lives.

For example; Christine de Pisan is the most reputable name and the first real feminist in French literature between 1395 – 1405. A paradox of this leading feminist is that; on one hand she believes that “an ideal government should include women from the society”, but on the other hand – while standing up for women rights – she also feels herself in need of “being a man”.

The approach of women to adopt this as an “easy way to be present in public space” has also influenced fashion in 1980s. This has facilitated the activities of working women and women in public space. This approach has contributed to the masculine outlook in the mode of dressing as new designs – which were adopted by working women easily, but disowned by other women. With this movement, they have tried to abolish feminine outlook by creating wide shoulders, adding ties to the designs of women clothing.

Why did women made such a gender transformation on themselves although they believe in women rights and equality?

“Silencia” is the name of the woman. Silence, is the “silence of woman”. Women compensate for getting rid of this silence by gender transformation. “Silencia” who is in harmony with the nature, has been converted to “Silencius” that is leaned on nature. They have converted “a” into “us”.

She is behind a frame with the contours diligently sewed, allocated for her behind a pure white surface. There are eyes in the background. The number of eyes are known, and the artist will replace them and explain their definitions and expressions with her own eyes. Although a couple of eyes – trying to define the environment, watching, getting angry, getting bored of her own patience, sometimes crying out, (may be) “peeking” the environment with timid glances – dominate all the space, the mannish portrait of the artist is hang up high above the entrance door of the room, as if she/he has gathered all the power, and wants to cause others to perceive her/his power. Just like us hanging up every blessed object high. Just like the blessed ones watching her from above and dominating with their permanent look – i.e. the father, grandfather portraits hang up on the walls – , she/he now with her “transformation” gets the power and dominates all the other women – realizing or not.

However they’ve got used to her/his power, the portrait of “silencius” is surrounded by lace. Yet being powerful is not being like a man.

Özgül ARSLAN, 2004