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İpek Duben


Fabrica presents the UK premiere of “They” by artist İpek Duben. This newly configured production of one of Duben’s most powerful works is a co-commission with Brighton Festival and it is a key element of the 2017 Festival program. SAHA provided support for the production of the work.

“They” is a multi-screen video installation about how the majority of society in Turkey view those they consider as “others” and how these marginalized others perceive one another. The installation presents 24 people who come from a diversity of ethnic origins, belief systems, and sexual orientations. They appear on different screens and share their personal stories. Kurds, Alevis, Zazas, Rums, Armenians, Jews, Romanis, LGBT individuals, covered Muslim women, as well as women violated by their husbands, recount their experiences both to each other and at the same time to the audience. They discuss their attitudes, prejudices and preconceptions as if at a roundtable where their views come together in unison.

The installation comprises two distinct zones, each containing a group of three projections along with a range of independently placed screens. In each zone, characters appear on screens, having a conversation in the presence of the audience around specific concerns such as racism, discrimination based on religion and beliefs, homophobia, gender inequality and domestic violence. The installation attempts to encourage dialogue between people who never, or rarely, have a chance to speak with each other. On the independent screens, each character recounts an unbroken monologue. A murmur of languages including Kurdish, Ladino, Armenian, Greek and Turkish, resonate in the background.

About İpek Duben

Ipek Duben (1941, Istanbul) makes installations, sculptures, paintings and video art. Her training in political science, sociology and art informs all of her work which involves identity issues, and political and social criticism. Since 1994 she has largely been making Artists' Books focused on identity, domestic violence and migration. These works are exhibited variously as light, sound and video installations. Major exhibitions include ONLAR/THEY (solo), Salt Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); 13th İstanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Poetry and Exile, British Museum, London, UK (2014); 3rd European International Book Art Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2014); The Fourth and Fifth Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Biennale for the Artist’s book, Alexandria, Egypt (2010); New Works New Horizons, İstanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Dream and Reality, İstanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); A Dream... But Not Yours, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA (2010); Substance and Light: Ten Sculptors Use Cameras, Munson-Williams- Proctor Art Museum, Utica, New York (2006); The Fifth Sharjah International Arts Biennial, U.A.E. (2001).

About the Brighton Festival and Fabrica

Brighton Festival is the largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England. Brighton Festival is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – taking place in venues both familiar and unusual across Brighton & Hove for three weeks every May.  Renowned for its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation, the inaugural program in 1967 included the first ever exhibition of Concrete Poetry in the UK, alongside performances by Laurence Olivier and Yehudi Menuhin. Since 2009 Brighton Festival has attracted inspiring and internationally significant Guest Directors who bring cohesion to the Artistic program: Anish Kapoor (2009), Brian Eno (2010), Aung San Suu Kyi (2011), Vanessa Redgrave (2012), Michael Rosen (2013), Hofesh Shechter (2014), Ali Smith (2015) ve Laurie Anderson 2016). The Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2017 is the acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest.

Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery based in the former Holy Trinity Church, in the historic heart of Brighton, UK. Their mission is to present high quality art to a broad audience, enabling more people to access, enjoy and learn from it.