ai???THE SPHINX WILL DEVOUR YOU!ai??? / SFENKS SENAi?? YAi??YAi??P YUTACAK

[TA?rkAi??e iAi??in sayfayAi?? aAYaAYAi?? kaydAi??rAi??n]

THE SPHINX WILL DEVOUR YOU

Fifteen Women Artists in painting, photography, digital print, video, installations
15 Mart/March
KarAYAi?? Sanat Galerisi (Elhamra PasajAi??)

YeAYim Agaoglu / Ai??zgA?l Arslan / Elif Ai??elebi / Alla Georgieva (Sofia) GA?l Ilgaz / Cemile Kaptan / Amel Kennawy (Cairo)/ Nadezda Oleg Lyahova (Sofia)/ Fakhriyya Mammadova (Baku)/ Neriman Polat / Tina La Porta (New York) / Ani Setyan / Sermin Sherif /Gonca Sezer Kumi Yamashita (Tokio)

Curator: Beral Madra

Coordination and PR: NilA?fer SA?lA?ner

A sphinx is half woman-half lion with breasts and wings. When we look up the definition of sphinx, it means ai???to strangle, guard; gatekeeper or protectai???. Paradoxal terms unified in one image!

The sphinx is a grecian myth and since ages, is a major part of masonry which is a male secret society. According to the greeks, the sphinx was a guardian of the city of Thebes. She sat on a cliff infront of the gates leading to the city. Anyone that wanted to enter Thebes had to first confront the sphinx. The sphinx would ask one simple riddle and if the person didnai??i??t know the answer, she would devour him, tearing him to pieces. The king, Creon, was troubled that many people were unable to enter his city. He consulted Oedipus and offered his crown and his daughter if he could kill the sphinx. So he confronted the sphinx who asked him the riddle, ai???What has one voice, and goes on four feet on two feet and on three, but the more feet it goes on the weaker it be?ai??? Oedipus responded, ai???Man ai??i?? who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age.ai??? After answering the riddle correctly, the sphinx committed suicide, jumping off the cliff and Oedipus was claimed king of Thebes.

Symbolically, the body signifies the animal nature, which exists in women in the form of the lion, which is the royalty, and power of the divine spirit that has been myth logically attributed to women as mother goddess. The riddle represents the knowledge and intelligence inherent in women. Metaphorically speaking, the sphinx coveys its knowledge and intelligence to men by destroying its lower animal nature and bestows him the refinement of the thought process that leads to the spiritual evolution of man. By solving the riddle, Oedipus (the man) became master problem-solver.

The Sphinx is one of the most striking monuments of the ancient Egyptians, and has attracted the attention of travellers, scientists, archaeologists and others for generations. The Sphinx had a philosophical impact on the ancient world, on Arab writers, on Renaissance travellers, on the pioneers of Egyptology and on modern scholarship and theory.

This episode in Oedipusai??i??s mythology is the turning point in Oedipusai??i??s fate which lead him to kill his father and sleep with his mother. Freud describes the source of this complex in his Introductory Lectures (Twenty-First Lecture):
ai???You all know the Greek legend of King Oedipus, who was destined by fate to kill his father and take his mother to wife, who did everything possible to escape the oracleai??i??s decree and punished himself by blinding when he learned that he had none the less unwittingly committed both these crimes.ai???

To explain the early psychodrama of your childhood, Freud turned to a dramatic work, Sophoclesai??i?? Oedipus Rex, in which Oedipus attempts to escape his fate. However, in the process, where the confrontation with the sphinx is the key event, he unintentionally does the very things he was attempting to avoid. Freud therefore invented the term Oedipus Complex.

Lacan ai??i?? the successor of Freud ai??i?? has developed his Mirror Stage on the Oedipus complex. Within his famous theories ai???the women does not existai??? fits in to the context of the title ai???the sphinx will devour youai???. Slavoj Jijek says in his interpretation of this theory: ai???Existenceai??? is a linguistic term, it means things, which can be referred to, and this is the opposite of Lacanai??i??s concept of ai???the realai???, which is the unspeakable. So, what exists is only what linguistically gets ai???representedai???, or, more accurately, referenced. If it is not mentioned, or cannot be mentioned, it does not exist. Likewise, enjoyment is necessarily dumb. Therefore, ai???the womanai??? cannot exist in language. Why? Well, Lacan is trying to simply describe a situation neutrally, and he describes a patriarchy dominated world where women donai??i??t get into language, thus do not existai???.

We know that in non-democratic, semi-democratic as well as democratic societies the gender ideologies and relations are based into two clear-cut groups, women and men, where in most societies men absolutely dominate the women, giving no room for choice, difference and resistance. Judith Butlerai??i??s preference of transformation of historical and anthropological positions that understand gender as a relation among socially constituted subjects in specifiable contextsai??i?? has not happened yet. Quoting her words, there are still fixed attributes in a person, gender is not yet a fluid variable which shifts and changes in different contexts and at different times.

One of the most hegemonic fields within this context is the media, which disseminates alternative images and places the women to the center of the war of symbols as the defeated subject. Weai???are in the age of the electronic media,as signifier of the male gaze and ego.

Butler showed that ai???gender is not just a social construct, but rather a kind of performance, a show we put on, a set of signs we wear, as costume or disguiseai???. Within the neocapitalist ai???lifestyleai??? discourse the performance/show of women is a substance for pure commodity.

She indicated that in Western discourse, ai???womanai??? is always the other of ai???manai???, hence excluded from culture or the Symbolic and in feminist theory, ai???womanai??? is universal category, which thus excludes differences of race, class, or sexuality. In fundamentalist Islamic societies, the woman is not even ai???the otherai???, she is the simple tool of ideology. Accordingly, the feminist theory in non- and semi-democratic countries became an extension of male dominated state policy.

This leaves the majority of the society no way but to think about women as fragmentations and disjointed subjects.
As to the riddle, with its classification of childhood, youth and old age, it also represents the fate of human hood shifting from dependence (crawling) to independence (walking) and back to dependent status (walking with a cane) it really relates us to the main conflict in neoliberal capitalism today. In our societies there are those who produce and those who do not or cannot. The ones who produce are rewarded with a welfare life and the rest are left to poverty and deprivation; among these children and women are the ones who most of the time suffer.

In the age of electronic images we are predisposed to perceive and face the world in fictions and fictional representations. We are obliged to identify ai???the selfai??? in images. Art in its resistant forms seems to be the only juxtaposition to the media, electronic images and male hegemony. The people are also contented with the representations in paintings and other forms of art, where they can see definite significations and cohesive subjects ai??i?? even if the representations reflect the uncanny, the abject, the transgressive. In our struggle for coherence, art forms help us to imagine the undivided subject. The art became a realm in which we are reassured that there are integrated subjects within this world.

Beral Madra / February 2004

 

=================================

SFENKS SENAi?? YAi??YAi??P YUTACAK

OnbeAY KadAi??n SanatAi??Ai??ai??i??dan resim, fotograf, dijital baskAi??, video ve yerleAYtirmeler

7 Nisan/April 2004 KarAYAi?? Sanat Galerisi (Elhamra PasajAi??)

YeAYim Agaoglu / Ai??zgA?l Arslan / Elif Ai??elebi / Alla Georgieva (Sofia) GA?l Ilgaz / Cemile Kaptan / Amel Kennawy (Cairo)/ Nadezda Oleg Lyahova (Sofia)/ Fakhriyya Mammadova (Baku)/ Neriman Polat / Tina La Porta (New York) / Ani Setyan / Sermin Sherif /Gonca Sezer Kumi Yamashita (Tokio)

KA?ratAi??r: Beral Madra

Koordinasyon ve halkla iliAYkiler: NilA?fer SA?lA?ner

80ai??i??li yAi??llarAi??n ortasAi??ndan bu yana TA?rkiyeai??i??li kadAi??n sanatAi??Ai??lar atAi??lgan, dikkat Ai??ekici ve irdeleyici iAYler A?retiyor ve uluslararasAi?? ortamlarda ilgi gAi??rA?yor. Yine de kuram ve uygulamada modern ve post-modern sanat iAi??inde erkekegemen sAi??ylemin gA?cA? yadsAi??namaz. TA?rkiyeai??i??nin post-modernlik sA?recindeki geAi??iAYlerde kadAi??nlar hala sA?rmekte olan geleneksel yapAi??lar yA?zA?nden siyasal, ekonomik ve toplumsal alandaki kimliklerini kabul ettirmek iAi??in uAYraAY veriyor.

Post-modernlik sA?reci kadAi??nlar iAi??in bir aAi??Ai??lAi??m oldu; ama status quoyu deAYiAYtirmek Ai??yle kolay bir iAY deAYil. Toplumun dAi??AYAi??na atAi??lmAi??AY ya da toplumdaki kimliAYi bastAi??rAi??lmAi??AY bireylerin ai??i?? ki bunlar iAi??inde her sAi??nAi??ftan ve her meslekten kadAi??nlar Ai??oAYunluktadAi??r ai??i?? durumunu iyileAYtirmek iAi??in herAYeyden Ai??nce geAi??erliAYini yitirmiAY ve kalAi??plaAYmAi??AY deAYerlerin yAi??kAi??lmasAi?? ve kitlelerin ve kurumlarAi??n modernist bakAi??AYAi??nAi?? ve yapAi??sAi??nAi??n kAi??kten deAYiAYmesi gerekiyor. Bu baAYlamda gA?nA?mA?z sanatAi??nAi??n sorgulayAi??cAi??, irdeleyici ve sarsAi??cAi?? Ai??rnekleri Ai??nemli bir iAYlev taAYAi??rken, kadAi??n sanatAi??Ai??larAi??n bu A?retim iAi??inde yansAi??ttAi??klarAi?? paylaAYAi??mcAi??, iletiAYimci, esnek ve iAYbirlikAi??i nitelikleri yararlAi?? sonuAi??lar doAYuruyor.

TA?rkiyeai??i??deki bugA?nkA? ai???kadAi??n manzarasAi??ai??? karmaAYAi??k, bulanAi??k ve konumuna gAi??re de A?rkA?tA?cA?dA?r. OnA?Ai?? yaAYAi??ndaki Ai??ocuklarAi??n ai???kirlenmiAY kadAi??nai??? olarak damgalanAi??p Ai??ldA?rA?ldA?kleri, tinsel ve anlaksal olarak geliAYmemiAY, eAYitilmemiAY genAi?? kAi??zlarAi??n TV ekranlarAi??nda sAi??mA?rA?lA?p sAi??ndA?rA?ldA?kleri, simsiyah Ai??arAYaflara bA?rA?nmA?AY ai???yA?zsA?zai??? ve ai???gAi??vdesizai??? kadAi??nlarAi??n kAi??le/cariye olarak kullanAi??ldAi??klarAi??, aydAi??n ve Ai??alAi??AYan kadAi??nlarAi??n toplum, aile ve Ai??zel yaAYam iAi??indeki yerinin ve kimliAYinin erkek egemen tartAi??AYmalar iAi??inde yitirildiAYi bir ortamda yaAYAi??yoruz. Bu ortamda kadAi??nlar siyasette, ekonomide ve kA?ltA?rde kendilerine Ai??ngAi??rA?len, biAi??ilen ve izin verilen konumlarda yerlerini alAi??yorlar ve zaman zaman seslerini duyurup istediklerini elde edebiliyorlar. KadAi??nlar kendi aralarAi??ndaki rekabet alanlarAi??nAi?? da beklendiAYi gibi, ama Ai??oAYu zaman yine erkek egemen sAi??yleme hizmet ederek dolduruyorlar.

Serginin baAYlAi??AYAi??, bu koAYullar iAi??inde kadAi??nAi??n kimliAYi ve durumu ile ilgili bir irdelemedir.

Sfenks, Ai??dipus efsanesindeki trajik figA?rlerden birisidir. Ai??dipus Delphoiai??i??de tanrAi?? bilicisinden anasAi??nAi?? ve babasAi??nAi?? Ai??ldA?receAYini Ai??AYrendikten sonra Korinthosai??i??a bir daha dAi??nmemeye karar verip Thebaiai??i??ye varAi??r. Thebai kapAi??sAi??nAi?? bekleyen, yA?zA? ve gAi??gA?sleri kadAi??n, gAi??vdesi aslan olan canavar, sorduAYu bilmeceleri bilmeyenleri parAi??alAi??yAi??p yemektedir. Sfenks AYu soruyu sorar: Tek sesi olan, kimi zaman iki, kimi zaman A?Ai??, kimi zaman dAi??rt ayak A?stA?nde yA?rA?yen ve en Ai??ok ayaAYAi?? olduAYu zaman en gA?Ai??sA?z olan yaratAi??k hangisidir? Oidipus ai???insanai??? diyerek doAYru yanAi??tAi?? verir ve Sfenks kendini durduAYu yA?kseklikten uAi??uruma atarak Ai??lA?r. Ai??dipus kAi??ral Kreonai??i??un vaad ettiAYi gibi Thebai kAi??ralAi?? olur.

Bu baAYlAi??AYAi?? taAYAi??yan sergi, 80 yAi??llAi??k geAi??miAYi olan modernist ve laik devrime karAYAi??n, iAi??inde yaAYadAi??AYAi??mAi??z dAi??nemde toplumun ai???kadAi??n manzarasAi??ai???ndaki Ai??arpAi??klAi??AYAi??n, krizlerin, karmaAYanAi??n boyutlarAi??nAi?? ne kadar gA?ndeme ve ciddiye aldAi??AYAi??nAi??n sorgulandAi??gAi?? bir alan olmaya talip.

Beral Madra/ Azubat 2004