Rampa is pleased to present its third solo exhibition of Selma Gürbüz’s works from March 2 – April 8, 2017. Gurbuz is an anomaly amongst her contemporaries. Her style and subject matter is singular and in her new body of works she continues and expands on her aesthetic prowess. The exhibition, “Carnivalesque,” includes never before seen three-dimensional work, painting, work on paper, and kinetic sculpture.
Gürbüz’s works have often tended toward the historical, fantastical, and mythological — a tendency typical to Carnival, as well. Historically, Carnival was a celebration that occurs in late February or early March, better known as Mardi Gras or The Feast of Fools. The festival still famously exists today in cities like Venice and Rio de Janiero. It is a jubilant, ecstatic and excessive gathering held in preparation for Lent, a 40-day period of chastity, frugality and fasting. The celebration is marked by masks, theatre, performance, and is a jovial and sometimes sinister public revolution against all that is stabilizing or socially acceptable. Carnivalesque is therefore a freedom characterized by a communal and ritualistic defying of norms. It is war and peace, young and old, rich and poor, past and present, Heaven and Hell, male and female, all at once.
While Gürbüz maintains her stylized aesthetic, in this exhibition she gives the figures and characters in her works a new agency. They speak, they fight, they dance, and some literally move off of the canvas, as in her three-dimensional paintings. The figures depicted, historical or imagined, animist or human, all have a sense of pride, marked by a defiant liveliness. Put together, the works reflect the shadowy, anarchic, and freeing dualities that define the Carnivalesque.