The artistic work of Işıl Eğrikavuk (MA 2005, MFA 2008) finds its core in social and political events blended with fictional components. She primarily works with stories that have a fantastical or absurd element that challenges the viewer’s ability to believe them. Recent projects include a dinner performance called Pluto’s Kitchen, which compared Pluto’s planetary demotion to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Interested in shifting borders and geographies and isolations from the other, Eğrikavuk used the theme of a breakup for the performance and took it to the kitchen, where everyone can relate through food. Actors were seated along with the audience at tables for dinner. For each course, actors read breakup letters, sometimes written to a lover, sometimes to Pluto, or to the public, combining it with absurd gestures and quotes from Theresa May’s Brexit speech. The food, prepared by a local chef, reflected the stages of a relationship and a breakup.
In 2012 Eğrikavuk received the Full Art Prize, the first contemporary art prize of Turkey. She is also the first recipient of SPOT Production Fund’s artist grant. Eğrikavuk has participated in numerous international exhibitions and residencies, and her work has been published in journals worldwide. Select exhibitions and performances include Block Universe, London; the Lenbachhaus, Munich; YAMA, Istanbul; SALT Galata, Istanbul and SALT Ulus, Ankara, Turkey; Rampa Gallery, Istanbul; Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; Egeran Galeri, Istanbul; SESC Pompeia, São Paulo; Alternative Space Loop, Seoul, South Korea, and the 11th Istanbul Biennial. Eğrikavuk has taught art at Istanbul Bilgi University (2009-2017) and is currently teaching at the Universität der Künste in the Media Department.
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This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency