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Baha Görkem Yalım



21/10/2020 –
– 21/12

Baha Görkem Yalım is a visual artist working with video, sculpture, and performance. Their practice is often an interdisciplinary encounter between poetry, fiction and academic reflection. Despite touching upon a wide range of subjects, their work mostly engages poetically with allegory, which functions as an indirect critique on modernity and patriarchy.

During their residency, Yalim explored Herman Melville’s seminal novel Moby Dick. They interpreted the book to be a document of exaggerated, obsessive enthusiasm or preoccupation with one thing. In response to Melville, Yalim began writing an auto-fictional novella fused by the artist’s own memories and meticulous details from each chapter of Moby Dick. The novella is a tale of water where the water is seen as an esoteric container with transformative powers, a living archive and a future. 

Yalim was intent on exploring the North Sea, Royal Dutch Shell and the International Criminal Court as disparate allegorical elements of a tale about the obsessive hunt for progress, as if it were a monstrous white whale. The exploration might turn into new works, each with its own white whales.



About Baha Görkem Yalım: Baha Görkem Yalım is a Dutch/Turkish visual artist and educator. Görkem’s practice is multidisciplinary and defined by being purposefully in flux, refusing to crystallise in any one form or medium. They employ video, sculpture, and performance, sometimes in variations and always as folds of the one and same practice. In all its variations, things come together toward durational proposals and are radically allowed to appear as themselves. Their position at times also crosses to writer, mediator, and curator and includes the production of texts across poetry, fiction, and academic reflection. Görkem’s practice is deeply tied to art history, its readings, re-readings, and misreadings. Objecthood and history (with a particular interest in “the keepsake”), abstraction (as a subversive, revolutionary tool), and contamination (as a form of collaboration) are concepts frequently thematised. Görkem interrogates the concepts through the lens of labour and gender, often summoning questions of ritual, display, and refrain. These open questions come together in a desire to diminish art and artist as unified ontological categories. Görkem completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Honours in Art and Research at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the University of Amsterdam, and Masters in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). They recently exhibited their works in A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam (2022), Nederland Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2022), Kunstverein Amsterdam (2021), Protocinema, Istanbul (2021) and Kunstverein Stuttgart (2019). Baha Görkem Yalım lives and works in Amsterdam.


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