Selected works by Pinar Yolaçan

Pinar Yolaçan
Untitled

2002

C-print

106.7 x 82 cm

Pinar Yolaçan presents us with a paradox: the clothed body as (a kind of) nude. In her series Perishables, the artist has outfitted stoic British matrons in animal flesh.

Pinar Yolaçan
Untitled

2003

C-print

101.6 x 82 cm

Each woman has had her garment made expressly to complement her physiognomy. Yolaçan photographs in the manner of a 19th-century anthropologist, though it must be said, however, that her subjects are volunteers unlike the native peoples of the British Empire, ‘specimens’ who were put before the lens whether they liked it or not.

Pinar Yolaçan
Untitled

2001

C-print

106.7 x 82 cm

Yolaçan’s models are fading relics of the British Empire, the distant descendants (the Turkish photographer imagines) of women who were married to the administrators of distant colonies. Now it is they who submit to the scrutiny of the lens. And it is they who now bear the badges of primitiveness.

Pinar Yolaçan
Untitled

2003

C-print

101.6 x 82 cm

Beyond the issues of race and unevenly distributed power, however, there is a more profound question: the confused and contradictory relationship we have with the animal kingdom. Claude Lévi-Strauss famously proposed ‘the raw and the cooked’ as symbolic equivalents to nature and culture, noting that of all the animal species only humans cook food. But Yolaçan reminds us of a simpler truth: we are what we eat.

Text by William A Ewing


Articles

PINAR YOLAÇAN AT RIVINGTON ARMS


With "Perishables," Turkish artist Pinar Yolaçan had an affecting U.S. solo debut. In a haunting series of photographs that are by turns comical and discomfiting, elderly women model peculiar Victorian-style garments the artist fashioned from animal parts, including tripe, intestines, stomachs and skin. Where Victorian fashion dignifies the wearer, these clothes tend to render their models vulnerable, if not absurd.

The 12 half-length portraits, each 40 inches high, place us face-to-face with life-size women set against luminous white backgrounds. Some wear vintage blouses of white, ivory or pink that complement similarly hued meat adornments; in other cases, their garments are made completely of flesh. Everywhere the meat is bloodless and pale, reducing the gross-out factor and allowing the viewer to focus on the craft.

A long-faced woman in a pink blouse sports an equally attenuated intestine scarf. Another's wrinkled skin falls like the draped chicken skins that serve as her blouse; she holds her head high as if to endure her outfit with dignity.

Elsewhere, a matron's severe frown is undercut by a pair of chicken legs that embrace her from behind like some avian paramour. Nearby, a daring blouse seemingly made of cold cuts (actually pork stomachs) belies the wearer's suspicious stare. A sprightly woman wrings her hands as if flirtatiously sizing up a fellow resident at the nursing home; her gorgeous ruffled sleeves are made of honey-comb (or raglan) tripe. The force of the women's personalities gives the project great charm, and for Yolaçan, photography is merely a medium to document what she considers performances.

Source: Art in America