Melike Kara

Risquons-Tout

12 September 2020 – 10 January 2021

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View

Installation View

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View

Installation View

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Sanjabi (tribe), 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 240 × 190 cm (94 ½ × 74 ¾ inches)

Sanjabi (tribe), 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 240 × 190 cm (94 ½ × 74 ¾ inches)

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View

Installation View

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Anchor Medaillion, 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas
220 × 180 cm (86 ⅝ × 70 ⅞ inches)

Anchor Medaillion, 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas
220 × 180 cm (86 ⅝ × 70 ⅞ inches)

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View

Installation View

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Bijar medallion, 2020, Acrylic and oil sticks on canvas, 190 × 150 cm (74 ¾ × 59 inches)

Bijar medallion, 2020, Acrylic and oil sticks on canvas, 190 × 150 cm (74 ¾ × 59 inches)

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Herki tribe, 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas
220 × 200 cm (86 ⅝ × 78 ¾ inches)

Herki tribe, 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas
220 × 200 cm (86 ⅝ × 78 ¾ inches)

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View

Installation View

Jan Kaps, Melike Kara, Risquons-Tout, Installation View (Detail)

Installation View (Detail)

Press release

In her installations, Melike Kara explores identity as something constructed, embodied and always in flux. The wallpaper collage features photographs of her Kurdish-Alevi family from her personal archive, together with photographs, poems and stories about all other Kurdish 22 TOP areas. “To create an environment that explores what it means to be Kurdish (especially from my perspective, having been born in Western Europe), I have to include every part as there is no concrete country to call home,” she states. Washed with bleach, the imagery attests to the erasure of Kurdish suffering and persecution from official history, its culture maintained only through unofficial routes and oral history. Partially on top of the wallpaper collage, Kara presents four recent paintings. These are translations of abstract patterns from carpets woven in various different Kurdish tribes and areas. Suggestive of traditional tapestry, in which all the warp threads are hidden and the weft yarns typically discontinuous, Kara’s new series evoke firm bonds between otherwise fading roots, as well as the dissolution and recovery of memory.