.artSümer, in collaboration with The Empire Project, is pleased to host Banu Birecikligil’s solo exhibition titled Lathyrus’ Dawn between the 12th of September and 14th of November 2020.

The exhibition comprised of Birecikligil’s brand new paintings and sculptures sets a contemporary parallel, highlighting our current social/health dilemma, the need for social sustenance in terms of human contact, community, warmth, a sense of continuity and belonging and the inherent dangers present in trying to alleviate this sense of isolation and loneliness in our current state. This, the artist's 7th solo exhibition, draws its title from the plant Lathyrus, which is a pretty yet toxic member of the pea family.

Lathyrus is the common name for a family of wild peas, which despite its innocent appearance with its colorful and delicate flowers has very poisonous types among its family. These wild peas have been a food source of the poor people in times of famine. The side effects can be in some cases immediate, but in most cases, when consumed for a prolonged time, it can cause an irreversible paralysis from legs to waist.

The result of an innocent yet toxic encounter that Birecikligil had in her very own garden left a lasting impression. Upon research as to the cause of her malaise, she came across this historical chapter of subsistence Russian roulette. Bringing to her mind our current woes, the plant became a sort of symbol of our times for the artist.

Birecikligil describes her thoughts on the matter as such; “The impasse that humanity faces in this situation is terrible. To be desperate enough to risk being paralyzed so as not to starve. In recent times, we too have tasted anxiety and fear of death.

We have seen how tiny beings, be it the chemical composition or the virus in the plant, undermine our physical existence and mental health. We realized that the naive longing we felt to turn back to nature, which we had severed with spoiled comfort, was not enough and that we were too fragile to return at once.”

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Banu Birecikligil was born in 1970 in Istanbul. She graduated from the painting studio of Özer KabaƟ at Mimar Sinan University in 1995. She received her Master’s degree from the Institute for Art In Context, University of Arts-Berlin, Germany in 2003. “Lathyrus' Dawn” is the artists 7th solo exhibition. Her works have been exhibited internationally, Berlin, Köln, Basel and Hong Kong to name a few. The artist continues her practice in Bodrum, Turkey.

Banu Birecikligil

Lathyrus' Dawn

12 Sep - 14 Nov 2020