• <p>Essi Kausalainen, still, <i>Botanik</i>, 2011</p>

    Essi Kausalainen, still, Botanik, 2011

Artists: Essi Kausalainen and Müge Yılmaz
Curator: Kevser Güler

Exhibition Dates: 5-26 March, 2016
Opening: 5 March, 16:00 – 18:00

At İMÇ 5. Blok, No: 5533, Unkapanı, İstanbul

Proto5533 presents Living/Matter: In and Through with works by Essi Kausalainen and Müge Yılmaz curated by Kevser Güler, which explores the distinct attitudes towards nature and living beings.

Together with the technological interventions upon living matter and the global capitalism’s seeing the ‘living being’ as its main capital, the discussions on nature, life and future of living beings have been proliferating in the last couple of decades. The scientific proposal, made to date the new geological era the Anthropocene describing human’s becoming principal agents effecting all life on this planet, also the facts about the ecological crisis and the climate change are calling for rethinking human being’s position and complex web of relationships on earth.

Müge Yılmaz’s The Water, the Soil, the Jungle, 2016, is a vitrine installation incorporating the ghillie suits. The ghillie suits are camouflage clothing, mostly used by the nature photographers and bird observers, which have also been used by hunters. Through the installation, Müge refers to human beings’ two particular manners of approaching to nature; the tendencies of the subjectification of the nature that redefines nature as an actant, or the naturalization of the subject which underlines that nature always already embraces each and every living being including human. It also has connotations relating to the myths and stories in which nature is depicted as a talking or acting subject; and at the same time to the current discourses of the environmentalists, which may be summarized with the sentence “We are nature defending itself”.

Essi Kausalainen’s Botanic, 2011 including performative videos and living plants installation explores the possibilities of communication through plants’ ways of being. She anticipates the complex interaction and the dialogue between human beings and plants. By building inter-species companionships and by approaching plants as co-performers she aims to escape the anthropocentric, hierarchical and linear ways of thinking and performing. She has realized the videos in a botanic garden in collaboration with the plants there and in the exhibition space she invites new plants to continue the performance and interact with the visitors during the exhibition period.

In reference to the continuum of nature-culture and human-nonhuman, the dialogue of Botanic, 2011 and The Water, the Soil, the Jungle, 2016, explores new ways of engagement, interaction and possibilities as well as limits of human community. Living/Matter: In and Through intends to open conversations about possible future vocabularies and imaginaries of the post-human subjectivities and the relationship to nonhuman others, to the animate and inanimate beings.

Essi Kausalainen (1979) has studied performance art and theory in Turku Arts Academy and the Theatre Academy of Finland. Her work has been exhibited and performed in venues such as la Galerie (Noisy-le-Sec), Moderna Museet (Malmö), Frankfurter Kunstverein, Museum for Contemporary Art Roskilde, Nikolaj Kunsthalle (Copenhagen) and Kunstraum Bethanien (Berlin)

Müge Yılmaz (1985) has studied Photography in ISIA and Visual Arts in Urbino. She concluded a two year residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2014. Her works has recently been featured in spaces After Hours (Paris), Pratt Manhattan Gallery (New York), WP Zimmer (Antwerp), MoMart (Amsterdam) and Aksanat (Istanbul).

Kevser Guler (1983) studied engineering and philosophy in Bogazici and Galatasaray Universities. She worked in Istanbul Biennial between 2007 – 2014. Since October 2014, she has been working as a researcher for Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Museum. Kevser is the associate curator of the contemporary art program of Cappadox, 2016 which will be realized with the theme ‘Let’s Cultivate Our Garden.’

Proto5533 presents exhibitions by emerging artists and curators, with guidance from art professionals, mentor curators, from Istanbul and abroad. Proto5533 is a collaboration by Protocinema, an itinerant, site-aware art organization,, and 5533, off-space run by artists Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan,, bringing together an active generation and providing the relationships and tools to nurture its meaningful growth. Selected Curators: Naz Cuguoğlu, Kevser Güler, Mehmet Kahraman, Ghaith Mofeed, Nicole O'Rourke, Ilhan Ozan, Ulya Soley. Mentor Curators: Celenk Bafra, Curator, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Övül Durmusoğlu, Independent Curator Berlin/Istanbul; Anthony Huberman, Chief Curator, Wattis ICA, San Francisco; November Paynter, Associate Director of Research and Programs, SALT; Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Mari Spirito, Director, Protocinema, Istanbul/New York; François Quintin, Director Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris.