MERVE İŞERI | HEAR TO SEE
Press Release | Text by Canan Batur
Infusing as liquid, Sensing with Vigour
What is the afterlife of the sensorial? I am with it, a pulse of constant becoming. I am referring to the "I" that is not a singular "I" but a plural self that is and was a resilience -a symphony of concurrent metabolisms unfolding in discordant synchrony. "I" am a holobiont with vigorous sensorial wisdom within: a stream with a current, a tree shedding leaves, a sensing cosmos with liquid knowledge. "I" am a form of communication, a language with possible life trajectories, a cosmos within the cosmos.
As physicist Karen Barad writes, Matter itself is already open to, or rather entangled with, the "Other"; bodies in direct participation with one another, a dynamic of forces, constantly exchanging and diffracting, influencing and working inseparably. What is in (invisible) in-between "I" and the "Other" that is sensed, seen and heard? To challenge conventional relations to the planetary, to dream an awakening of in-between, "I" become a semiotic phenomenon: a constellation of signs, a linguistic framework in search of answers. "I" as the Matter infuse the micro and nanosphere and reach what is planetary, map recurrent courses of navigation, and make sense of the peripatetic simulations.
Oscillating between instinctive topography and semiosis, "I" extend invisible vulnerabilities and dependencies, and embrace the "wildness" and confront colonial traces forcefully embedded within. "I" am a process, forming and reforming through relationships of identification, and endless absorption. "I" am an instrument that connects life and myth. My body becomes a vessel that carries tensions, a home as a site of struggle between temporalities that commingle with the present: vigour and wistfulness, anticipation and intuition.
In Hear to See, Merve Iseri's paintings offer the "I", a multidimensional experience that assembles multiple, overlapping timeframes and sensory registers. Time emerges as a rhythmic yet discordant relational experience of contagion between semiotics, patterns of inner wisdom, and concurrent tones, with the capacity to affect and be affected by, and of participation without a fixed point of reference; like a river spilling into the sea. Whilst transcending borders and histories to speculate presents and futures, to then live with and within manifold presents, she cultivates stories in stories, new poetic tools and experiential resources for an active epistemology; a shift in perspective regarding what it is to be attentive to the world.
Her works are an attempt to press II [pause] to the daily storm of sonic vibrations, and voice a call to examine and explore the auditory beyond the hearing and start to LISTEN. By assembling multiple, overlapping timeframes, Iseri's works propose rhythm as a relational language and conjoin our senses with the unsound, the not-yet audible, and the silenced for imagining new solidarities, alliances and forms of attunement. As activist and writer bell hooks reminds us, spaces of voiceless absence are where a counter-language may emerge, and with it a 'new location from which to articulate our sense of the world'. What auditory imaginaries and possible futures can active listening unfold?
If Hear to See aims to transcend one's sense of the world, it is most of all an invitation to be closer. To navigate through manifold present rhythmical timelines, and relational language that make up one's complex landscape and realities; to be one and with.
Merve İşeri's (b. 1992, Istanbul) paintings depict inner landscapes exploring the modes of language through the communication between nature, human, and culture using personal and archetypal allegories. There is specific intent to each mark, symbol, and pattern on the canvas, yet together in concert, they seem to dance and talk their own language. Meaning is simultaneously subverted and created as the lines and shapes converge and disperse in a symphony of sound and sight.
İşeri received her B.A. in Design of Communication from Politecnico di Milano in 2014. Since then she has been featured in exhibitions in cities around the world including; New York, Miami, Chicago, Istanbul, Torino, Milan, Brussels, and London. İşeri's work has been published in The Financial Times, Harper's Bazaar Turkey, the Huffington Post, and Artforum. Along with her artistic achievements, she has ran various artist workshops in London, and served as the Creative Director Piografiks Art Studio in Milan, Italy in 2014. İşeri currently lives and works in London, UK.
Canan Batur is the curator of Live Programmes at Nottingham Contemporary, where she leads the partnerships between the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University and works on numerous collaborative research programmes, including the multi-platform commission series Emergency & Emergence (2022 - ongoing) that unearths transdisciplinary, sensorial and speculative practices of radical sensemaking and wayfinding via questions of repair, remediation and mutation, Seeing Through Flames (2022 - ongoing), a series on radical sonic imaginaries and the vibrational undoing of the dominant knowledge(s) and modes of being, and After Growth: A Symposium on Post-Capitalist Imaginaries (2022), on the concept of 'degrowth' and the possibility of life after growth.