The artist Ayse Erkmen, who lives in Istanbul and Berlin, predominantly works with the given architectural, historical and cultural contexts of an exhibition situation. She attaches great importance to the context of a space and establishes a relation between individual contexts, for example language and architecture, which she connects in a spatial arrangement. Some works elucidate only the idea, the attempt to establish connections, or even the loss of connections, and thus merely display fragments of the contexts. This is also the case in the exhibition Habseligkeiten / Possessions at Galerie Barbara Weiss.
In the gallery’s entrance space, a chain across the room prevents access to the window. When taking a closer look, one sees that the chain is made up of individual silver rings with small holes. The diamonds that once embellished these rings are missing. One can thus assume that the artist uses the title of the exhibition, Habseligkeiten / Possessions, to refer to the material of silver that plays a very important role in Turkey.
In the gallery’s large room, Ayse Erkmen takes up the representation of fragments in the form of a projection of 84 different landscape photographs. The photographs gradually build up in sections from top to bottom, as if one were viewing images slowly loading on the Internet. The pictures are subject to a kind of choreography; some are completed quicker, others slower. Like in earlier shows, Ayse Erkmen uses purchased photographs from an image database usually applied for advertising purposes. The depicted landscapes appear stereotypical, like postcard idylls, anonymous and lifeless, since they were taken from their context and follow each in a random sequence, without an unambiguous context or relation of the landscape becoming evident for the viewer.
The back room of the gallery is entirely blocked by an inserted wall which is part of the projection surface. Only from the street can a yellow poster with the inscription Kleine hintere Kammer / Small back room be discerned, attached to the outer glass facade of the gallery. This poster clarifies the relation between the interior and exterior space and thus symbolises the expansion of the gallery space to the outside.
By blocking a room and cordoning off by means of a silver chain as an object of value, the artist utilises the gallery’s exhibition space contrary to its actual function and thus subtly questions the gallery as an institution and presentation site.