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Şirin Melek

About the Ritual Aesthetics series
It should be acknowledged that individuals use system modeling developed according to their own consciousness and psychic systems in their daily lives. Indeed, in order to access the necessary information to model this system, one needs to engage in a deep learning process using the power of repetition. Furthermore, this repetitive activity is essential for the individual to complete a deep learning process in biological and neurological terms. Although the collective foundation of cultural habits is strong and inherent, repetitive behaviors can become habitual routines and rituals for individuals through learning. In this sense, Pliny's saying is quite meaningful: "Habit is the most effective teacher of all." This state of habit can exist within a wide range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. They are recognized as main symptoms in addiction cases. However, the artist's concern lies in the commonalities rather than the differences between the concepts of ritual, routine, habit, or addiction. In other words, it is related to the boundaries and experimentation set by the individual.
In the artist's exhibited works, attention is drawn to the gypsy routines of migration, lead casting, magic, our current relationship with smartphones, metaphors of legal and illegal drugs, the ritual of gambling, and the allegorical expression of the artist's captive paints. The artist evaluates the behavioral patterns that modern humans create to feel secure within a broad framework. Accordingly, individuals create this comfort zone through sports, meditative behaviors similar to dhikr, or various personal development methods, as well as routines reminiscent of archaic shaman rituals such as gambling, legal/illegal drugs, tea, coffee, music, visual arts, or lead, which have their origins in the Paleolithic era. Thus, the artist emphasizes that this comfort zone does not necessarily imply satisfaction or happiness. It is nothing more than the place where the individual feels warmest and safest. This situation is similar to heroin addicts who continue to use the substance to create their own safe space for their pains after a while or to the feelings of a person who believes that bad energies will find them if they do not cast lead, burn their incense, etc., substances considered poisonous. The joy of repetition is important here.
The materials chosen by the artist complement the aura of the artwork as much as the selected subjects. In some of the works, the use of stove heat and light reflectors, pipe clamps, lead, LEDs, 5x5 bags, epoxy paint, and photographs used by self-binding with shibari art technique instead of canvas are noteworthy.

Şirin Melek

Şirin Melek was born in Istanbul in 1974. After attending Saint Michel Private High School, she graduated from Paris Sorbonne University with a degree in French Civilization and Art History. She later graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty of Işık University, Prof. Balkan Naci İslimyeli Atelier. She taught applied art history classes to students aged 6-11 at Özel Istanbul College and continues to teach in her own studio.

The artist, who expresses her art with a Neo-Fluxus approach, focuses on conceptual expressions, using mixed techniques, digital, and video techniques to explore the damages caused by the contemporary media world on the human brain and subconscious. In her recent works, she examines the role of rituals in providing a sense of security in human life.

Exhibitions: Solo Exhibitions: 2014 - Galeri Külah - Istanbul 2018 - Galeri Kambur - Istanbul 2021 - "Ritual Aesthetics" Kapudağ Galeri - Istanbul - Solo

Group Exhibitions: 2018 - Galeri Kümeart Istanbul - Group 2018 - Balat Cultural Center, Istanbul - Group 2019 - Galeri Four Season Bosphorus - Istanbul - Group 2019 - Galeri Galleria d'Arte - London - Group 2019 - Galeri Four Season Bosphorus - Istanbul - Group 2020 - Art-ist Sauna, Uniq Expo - Istanbul 2021 - MKM Cultural Center - Meeting Exhibition - Istanbul 2022 - Ekavart Gallery, Istanbul - Group 2022 - Ankara Contemporary Art Fair - Ankara

Panel: 2019 - Panel discussion on the exhibition "Conceptual Art and Small Data" for the Sociology Department students at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University

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