Opening is a gesture. Opening is curiosity. Opening is generosity. Opening is a necessary act. Opening can be traumatic but also cathartic. Opening is the first solo exhibition of Istanbul based Gülsün Karamustafa in Rodeo. Opening focuses on the personal in Karamustafa’s work and introduces again a lesser known part of her big work in the audience.
Gülsün Karamustafa opens up her world, and what comes out are memories, fabrics, photographs, stories, objects, texts; material we felt the need to bring back in life. Opening has no intention to act retrospectively; its main intention is to bring back to the present important personal but at the same time historical works of the artist. Her work in Opening is a constellation of family stories, memories, and flash backs from her childhood. Through our engagement with this introspection, we get a grasp of the decades’ succession from the 70s to today in Istanbul.
This exhibition focuses on assemblage as a practice of Karamustafa and the process of putting things together. Sampling with objects and kitschy ephemera makes this world a colorful happy-sad space. The interior is where the personal evolves and experimentation with family material and feminine objects develop. The father as an influential figure in the family structure and his job as a radio producer deeply informed the piece Chronographia, a work made from the magazine covers of Radio Week (Radyo Haftasi); the pages within the magazine brought Time as it Was/ Time in Color in life, a series of beautiful prints that reflect these days and the introduction of color in our lives through television, printing techniques, and the media.
Karamustafa in the 1980s has innovatively been working with fabric collages, another indoor, female practice that represents a specific aesthetics of migration that has dominated Istanbul since the late ‘60s. Appropriation has been her game after she stopped painting and here she offers a rich variety of her works through the last decades.