May 1, 2023
May 3–28, 2023
Dirimart Dolapdere
Hacı Ahmet Mahallesi Irmak Caddesi DLP 1-9
34440 Beyoğlu Istanbul
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Dirimart is thrilled to present PARADISE ON SALE, the first solo show of the artist duo :mentalKLINIK with the gallery in its Dolapdere space. Based metaphorically on the idea of the cancelation of utopia in the 21st century, PARADISE ON SALE is a promised land for our saturated faces, filtered bodies and extremely fragile souls caged in seductive screenscapes of this hilariously dark age.

Transforming the exhibition space into a massive groundless installation with shifting scents, distorting mirrors, shiny poppers, and floating screens accompanied by surrounding and directed sounds, :mentalKLINIK generously offers an ultimate confessional for the innocently sinful souls to confront the hypocrisy of capitalistic leisure. Implemented structural elements of the entertainment sector as complementary units of the artworks inevitably play with our perception of corporate expectations from an art gallery. The installation functions as a wake-up call to those who fall asleep under the mega ruins in micro times, and as a hypertext for our hyper moods being challenged by the physicality overlapped with virtuality.

The welcoming piece, a meta-human, Frenemy showcases a computer-generated genderless character who personifies a sentiment that has no specific word to describe: a mesh of emptiness, a possible sense of inadequacy and being lost in finding a purpose which inevitably ends up bursting into tears. The large-scale muselet of champagne bottle floats on the mirrored confetti floor as a remnant of an unforgettable party frozen in time-space; once the piece of the moment, later forgotten and lost under the choreographed party lights. Surrounded by the mirrored window films, the installation repetitively reproduces its own reality; each time distorted and rejuvenated with the temporal orientation of the reflective, sculptural panes called Double-Deal. The spectators become the spectacle when they encounter Cute Spy, the charming surveillance camera in the shape of a pet owl interacting with them through movement and eye contact. The shifting scents formulated by :mentalKLINIK Happily Dizzy and Awfully Witty attack the involuntary memory to make this experience much more permanent in the viewers’ subconscious, in collaboration with the sound installation Lunatic Poems, which are located at certain spots of the gallery space as if they are trying to jog the 21st century’s vocabulary to our memories.

Holding up a mirror to the frenzy now and contemporary obsessions, :mentalKLINIK does not only appeal to the spectators’ visual expectations but also deliberately recaptures all of the senses to keep them alert during and after the experience. In PARADISE ON SALE, :mentalKLINIK does not promise you a new paradise but rather asks you to celebrate the end of utopia as accomplices.

Brussels-based artist duo from Istanbul, :mentalKLINIK, composed of Yasemin Baydar & Birol Demir, began their collaborative practice in 1998 with undisguised dexterity in bringing out the invisible political strategies and the social dynamics through ultra-contemporary devices of an apparent lightness. Like a multifaceted disco ball, :mentalKLINIK shows present an ambidextrous approach to their versatile universe. Their festive universe resists the limitations of a single vocabulary or style. It is playful and hedonistic, glamorous but also surprising, bearing violence that evokes the state of a bad trip after a great party or a creepy new beginning rising from a dead-end.

Their works shift between emotional and robotic attitudes. Artist duo reclaims the sparkling and authoritative visual language of the media and night spheres in a climate of sensory hyperstimulation engendered by multiple neon lights, slogans, light beams, mirror balls and confetti while playing with our unanimous attraction to objects glittering and seductive. It is a work of encryption to which they summon us, between the true and the false, the artificial and the superficial, as if everything was a case of falsification. :mentalKLINIK has an open laboratory approach to process, production, roles, conception and presentation. Their works are a mix of oxymorons and paradoxes, darkly humorous, self-contained range from immersive time-based installations to sculptures and objects that thwart categorisation.

:mentalKLINIK’s experimental approach has been praised in numerous international exhibitions including Bitter Medicine#02, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, curated by Necmi Sonmez (2020); Co-operation Would be Highly Appreciated exhibition at SCAD Museum GA, USA, curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg (2015); FreshCut, MAK, Vienna_ Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art curated by Marlies Wirth (2013); Istanbul Modern-Rotterdam at Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam (2012); Izmir Triennial of Contemporary Art, Izmir (2010); and Tomorrow, Now, MUDAM, Luxembourg (2007). They opened an introspective at La Patinoire Royale, Brussels curated by Jerome Sans in 2018. Their selected major solo shows are Hypermoody, Sabrina Amrani Gallery, Spain (2022); Lovelessnes (2022) ve Catastrophically Gorgeous (2018) curated by Yasmina Reggad, Eugster II Belgrade; 83% Satisfaction Guaranteed, Louise Alexander, Porto Cervo, Italy (2015); Truish (2017) and Thank You For Your Cooperation (2014), Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai; and That’s Fucking Awesome curated by Jerome Sans (2011) and rABBIThOLE (2009) at Galerist, Istanbul. Their selected group shows are Chroniques Biennale of Digital Imagination, Panorama Friche La Belle De Mai, Marseille (2022); Shake Your Body, Lago Algo, Mexico City (2022); Golden Room, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille (2019); Eldorama, Tripostal, Lille (2019); Racing the Galaxy at Astana Art Show, Astana (2019). :mentalKLINIK’s works are acquired by several public collections including Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey; Fundação Leal Rios, Lisbon, Portugal; Colección Alma Colectiva, Guadalajara, México; Hakanto, Antatnanarivo, Madagascar; MAK- Austria, Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria.

May 1, 2023

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