Savas Boyraz: Back Drop

Back Drop | Installation View | Interview in South Slope News | In Musee Magazine | In New York Arts Magazine | Press Release

October 3 – November 1, 2015
Opening Reception: October 3, 7-9 pm

triptych_02

Savas Boyraz presents Back Drop, a video installation for Open Source Gallery.

In Back Drop, Kurdish artist Savas Boyraz explores the stories of individual Kurdish guerilla fighters using portraiture. Having seen people in his life join the fight, Boyraz views his work as a sort of “image-based activism” that he uses to explore the struggle of the Kurdish community in the Middle East, as well as his own roots. Focusing on individuals, Back Drop puts a face to a complex political struggle, exploring a culture that struggles for its rights. Faced with the realities of war and an uncertain future, what are the responsibilities of individuals to their communities, their heritage, and their beliefs?

Kurdistan–an area that is not a country, but an area spread across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria–is inhabited by the Kurds, a group considered to be the largest ethnic community without its own country. For decades, resistance groups have fought for a homeland for the Kurdish people in a continuously tumultuous region. With no national boundaries, identities are formed through self determination–and political rights in autonomous Kurdish communities are only obtained through the resistance of the people.

In a triptych, created in collaboration with Swedish artist Martin Nordström, stories of two individuals are told: one who is preparing to leave to join the guerilla struggle against Daesh (ISIS) and one who has returned from the fight. Each individual is situated in front of a backdrop, a prop once used by guerrilla theatre troupes. Set against varied landscapes, the borders of the backdrop provide an oddly precise framing for the portraits. The three stories in triptych format recall religious artwork and encourage the viewer to reflect upon not only the stories being told, but their role in the personal struggles of others. The work not only captures war from the perspective of those fighting it, but explores internal struggles and Boyraz’s relationship with the subjects. The future, present, and past of the Kurdish guerilla struggle is presented, uniting the stories of individuals with one, common backdrop.

Savas Boyraz was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He obtained his BFA in photography from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and his MFA from the Art in the Public Realm program in Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Boyraz has received awards from the Hasselblad Foundation, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, and the HSBC Photography Award. He has participated in exhibitions in the Duhok International Film Festival (Iraq), Amed Art Gallery (Turkey), Berlin Kurdish Film Festival (German), Teatro di Nascosto (Italy), Aperture Foundation (US), Les Rencontres d’Arles (France), and Michaelis Galleries (South Africa) among others.



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past

2017 Exhibitions
Kimberly Mayhorn: Transcend
Reimagining Tradition
The Fire Theory: ICE
Sana Obaid: دیوار | De-war | Wall
10th Annual South Slope Derby
Andrew Snyder: 9 Meditations
Francesco Simeti: Swell
Liinu Grönlund: It could have been
The Middle Passage
Soup Kitchen 2016
2016 Exhibitions
Another Space: Permanent Construction
i Collective: Once Upon Unfolding Times
Dimensions Variable: Multidisciplinary
South Slope Derby 2016
Boa Mistura: Spread Love, It’s The Brooklyn Way
SiTE:LAB: Nothing Is Destroyed
guerilla-art.mx: Transgression
Rawiya: In Her Absence I Created Her Image
HAI: Sole Exchange
Videokaffe: Para-sites & Proto-types
Prosjektrom Normanns: Transcendental Tactility
/rive: Anamorphosis
Soup Kitchen 2015
Mira Gaberova: Statue of Everything
Savas Boyraz: Back Drop
Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu: Venus von Hamburg
Soap Box Derby 2015
Sara Morawetz: How the Stars Stand
Whitney Lynn: Rummage
Yun-Woo Choi: Endless, Seamless
Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name
Tirtzah Bassel: I Want To Hold You Close
B. David Walsh: Extracted Bedroom Project
Lena Lapschina: Yes/No
Soup Kitchen 2014
Sofia Szamosi: Eat Me
Corina Reynolds: Northwestern Expansion
Emanuele Cacciatore: A Conversation with Consequence