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Ipek Duben

Artist 124 Ipek Duben Discrimination Video art

Ipek Duben (born 1941) is a contemporary visual artist based in Istanbul. She produces artist books, poetry, installations, video, painting and sculpture. Her work deals with identity issues, feminism, and migration with a strong emphasis on social and political criticism.

Duben’s work spans across a variety of media such as painting and artist books through to video and sound installations.

The areas and themes in which she primarily focuses span across concepts surrounding memory, identity, alienation, gender and migration.

Duben initially began by observing her subjects from an outsiders standpoint. She translated what she saw on to canvas.

From this, her observations on identity and alienation has continued to present itself throughout her practice.

Today’s focus is on her multi-screen video installation THEY/ONLAR (2015).

THEY/ONLAR focuses on how Turkish society views “They” or “the Other” through an exploration of the diversity of gender, ethnicity and sexuality that exists in the country. For this project, Duben has featured several individuals telling their own stories as a reflection on the discrimination many people experience in Turkey. Although these stories expose individual histories, attitudes and prejudices, Duben believes that we can learn much about ourselves and how to interact with others, in the greater global context, through listening more to personal stories. (Glover, 2017).

She brings in a biographical, documentary approach in this piece. By focusing on their bodies they are easier to identify with (strange as that is). She deals with the Abject of non-belonging.


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