Seda Hepsev: Rose Related

Seda Hepsev: Rose Related

Quartz Studio

Seda Hepsev, Rose Related, 2023. Embroidery on fabric, wire, felt, 140 x 95 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

September 12, 2023
Seda Hepsev
Rose Related
September 12–October 14, 2023
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Quartz Studio is pleased to present Rose Related, the first solo exhibition in Italy by the artist from Turkey Seda Hepsev (Istanbul, 1978), curated by Caterina Fondelli.

Seda Hepsev has conceived a site-specific project that draws on the revolutionary, unconventional approach to femininity developed by the writer Hilda Doolittle (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, US, 1886). She developed her approach throughout her career and especially in the verses of her 1915 poem “The Garden.” Seda seeks to create a new context, challenging and re-reading the boundaries of power structures through an intelligent interpretation and a playfulness applied both to her practice and the space. The process of proceeding by layers, which was already at the foundation of Hepsev’s poetics, both conceptually and practically, mirrors the spare, direct imagery of Doolittle’s writing. Simplicity unleashes a multitude of meanings. As visitors gradually enter Rose Related, conceived as a personification of the natural elements discussed in the poem, they are encouraged to take their own path through present-day social imperatives. Geometric metal pieces greet us at the entrance of the exhibition, suggesting the perseverance of roses thriving in the harshest of environments, among stones seen as obstacles to the living breath’s instinct toward freedom. The gaze is invited to continue in the dance, drawn in by the dynamic positioning of visual signs in the space to then reach pure lightness and evanescence in the artist’s textile painting. The works act as open-ended stories, where universal human stages are recounted in a flowing, falling, collapsing, almost flying way like that which Hilda tied to Greek myths in her compositions. The dichotomous presence of heat and wind, signifying repression and a path to relief and change, respectively, are expressed in these artworks. They exist in the liminal space between painting, sculpture, and installation, bringing together threads, wires, shadows, and light. There is a movement, an elegant pirouette like a breeze, subtle yet strong, pushing towards a new vision of the rich ‘Garden’ of representation and identity. The entire project is permeated by a particular feeling: that of freedom and the lack of regard that Hilda Doolittle showed the confines of her time’s conventions. This attitude was not a frivolous one as it stemmed from the self and social awareness that led her to go beyond the imaginable horizon. Seda Hepsev’s Rose Related is not a conversation with herself or a message directed only to women. The project is an important manifesto for the self-actualization of all. —Caterina Fondelli

Seda Hepsev (Istanbul, Turkey, 1978) lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland. The artist received her BA in Painting from Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts (2000), MA and PhD in Art from Yildiz University Faculty of Arts and Design (2013). Recent shows include Swiss Art Awards (nominated) Messe Basel 2022, Zürich Art Grants (awarded) Helmhaus (2022), Grosse Regionale, Alte Fabrik Rapperswil (2021), Mediality & Materiality, Förderverein Aktuelle Kunst, Münster (2021).

Her works include embroidery, sculpture, and installations that originate from drawings. Passion, space, and the subjectivity of the female body are central to her works. Body parts, beasts, distorted characters, and traditional motifs often appear in her work, which appears fragile, incomplete, and multi-layered. She builds her artistic approach, strolling through a visual language ranging from historical allegories, iconographies, illustrations, and mythologies to contemporary images. Layered textile paintings, hanging threads, and wires suggest narratives where fact and fiction are uncertain, and where protagonists remain mysterious and motives unclear. Fraught interpersonal dynamics, rendered with humor, empathy, and, at times, absurdity form the visual focus of her works. She makes stories visible through artistic techniques that require patience and compassion. It has the intimacy and fragility of human and non-human forms that transform into fantastic identities.

Quartz Studio would like to thank the SAHA Association and Pro Helvetia. SAHA—Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey e Pro Helvetia contributed to the realization of Seda Hepsev’s Rose Related project.

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Quartz Studio
September 12, 2023

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