Melike Kara (b. 1985, lives and works in Cologne/DE) develops her pictorial work alongside the writing of poetry and the production of sculptures, videos and other media. The experimental use of surfaces is a characteristic of his paintings, which are treated with dense oil pastels, for example, or the use of foreign materials such as textiles.
In her first institutional solo show in Switzerland, Kara continues her exploration of Kurdish traditions and questions of historicization, tradition, and community. She produced site-specific works in a large-scale installation that transforms the spaces of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen into his own visual archive.
The photographs come from family members and from Kara’s extensive network of relationships, an archive that the artist continually compiles. Like a carpet, the photographs cover the floor of the Kunst Halle. Together with the paintings, in which Kara articulates her own visual language, the installation reveals itself as a series of meditations on collective images.
By collecting and rearranging material heritage, as well as combining it with gestural-abstract compositions, Kara’s personal gaze unfolds as an intimate narrative of her own family history and the visual culture of the Kurdish diaspora. The large-scale occupation of space occurs as an intimate and at the same time political gesture. Thus giving visibility to the disappearing population, whose culture is only maintained through informal channels and oral traditions, and to its history.
Drawing on various weaving techniques and customs, Kara abstracts, superimposes and interweaves her family history with Kurdish tapestry motifs from different regions and tribes in the exhibition. The ambiguity between abstraction and figuration, individual and collectivity, inherent in these tapestries, is constituted in the spatial disposition but also as a particularity of her paintings, a visual testimony of a collective visual language and at the same time characteristic of the artist. .
i like kara (b. 1985 in Bensberg, Germany) lives and works in Cologne. Individual exhibitions (selection): both above and belowArcadia Missa, London (2022); how she shapes usLC Queisser, Tbilisi, Georgia, (2021); Nothing is yours, everything is youCologne Art Association, Cologne (2021); gowend gardenSalon 94, New York (2019); new jobWitte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2019); a taste of parsleyYuz Museum, Shanghai (2018); kopekPeres Projects, Berlin (2017); Honey: bread and butter (with Jessica Gispert), Komplot, Brussels (2016); LunchKennedy Hall, Frankfurt (2015); real sorbet, Ortlo, Leipzig (2014). Collective exhibition (selection): I only have Eyes For YouPhilara Foundation, Düsseldorf (2023); Is it morning already for you?58 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2022); traverse the silencesEditions Dilecta, Paris (2022); The dreamersSalon October 58, Belgrade Biennale, Belgrade (2021); I love your symptom, but not too much.blank projects, Cape Town (2020); BAMBOO BAR, ON THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, Dortmund Art Association, Dortmund, Germany (2018); White Columns Charity Auction & Exhibition, White Columns, New York (2017); in WonderlandDahlmann Hall, Berlin (2016); shortcutsHallmackenreuther, Cologne (2014); dark (traces)Hamburg Film Festival, Hamburg (2013).
If you have any further questions, please contact Giovanni Carmine (=(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>carmine [at] k9000.ch) or Céline Matter (=(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>subject [at] k9000.ch).
The Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is supported by: Stadt St.Gallen, Kulturförderung Kanton St.Gallen, Swisslos, Susanne und Martin Knechtli-Kradolfer-Stiftung, Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung, Martel AG, Kulturförderung Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Raiffeisen.
A special thanks to Grafitec AG and Royal Talens Schweiz.