Eşref Yıldırım’s solo exhibition, “Salute!” will be presented at Galeri Zilberman between March 14th and
May 3rd, 2014.
“Salute!” was developed in relation to Eşref Yıldırım’s previous exhibition, “Nobody’s Death” that also took
place at Galeri Zilberman in 2012. With “Nobody’s Death”, which took as its point of departure 3rd page
news from newspapers, Yıldırım explored visibility by using the newspaper itself as a medium. In his new
exhibition, “Salute!”, the artist discusses the relative notion of the value placed on human life. The subject
matter is those who die under the custodianship of the state, or those who die because of the state’s
“mistakes”: suspicious soldier deaths, the Roboski massacre, and those who are mysteriously “lost”.
The paintings, which are the center of the exhibition, are executed on green canvases and displayed as
flags, glorifying perhaps ironically. The artist’s experiments in painting mimic the tensions that he deals
with in his subject matter.
In the exhibition, the artist employs the artist’s book and found objects, in addition to painting, showing the
constructed surface of painting next to materials that infiltrate daily life, questioning the boundary between
the fictional and reality.
When looking at the eye masks the artist has woven for those massacred in Roboski, we see the fatigue
of somebody who has intensely examined the photographs of the dead. A mask for every fallen person: 34
masks. And we don’t care if Eşref Yıldırım staked a claim at the words of the conscientious objectors he
recorded word by word. We don’t ask ourselves, “This pain which he implies he feels, is it real?”.
Eşref Yıldırım (b. 1978, Bursa) lives and works in Istanbul. He participated in numerous group exhibitions,
including Figure Out: Turkish Contemporary Art, Artsawa, Dubai, UAE (2012); 1st Istanbul Summer
Exhibition, Antrepo 5 Art Port, Istanbul (2011); Rogue Element, Istanbul-New York, Rh+ Artgallery, Istanbul
(2011); In Between / Arada / Tra, Istanbul 2010 European City of Culture, MSGSÜ Tophane-i Amire Cultural
Center, Istanbul (2010); Embracing the Solitude, YellowFishArt, Montreal, Canada (2010); Borders Orbits
6, Siemens Art, Istanbul (2010). The artist opened his first solo exhibition in 2012 in Galeri Zilberman,