Cemile Sahin‘s artistic practice moves between film, photography, installation and literature. Thematically, the artist and author deals with unnoticed narratives about wars, militarization, surveillance and control. Stories and histories from the past and the present often merge in her works in ways that shed new light on contemporary relations between warfare and life. Sahin‘s multimedia installations are rooted in a conceptual working practice. By combining image and text material from different sources, including literary quotations, online videos and 3D animations, her works embody the simultaneity of image- and text-based communication. Her works intentionally create a dizzying rhythm: they sweep the viewer along, towards unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable insights into historiography and warfare.
For the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Cemile Sahin is developing a spatial installation entitled Gewehr im Schrank - Rifle in the closet, in which she addresses the historical development of Western societies’ militarization, with Switzerland as a case study. The title refers to the standard practice of Swiss soldiers taking home their service weapons after military training and storing it in the closet for emergencies. As a result, Switzerland is the country with the highest density of privately stored weapons in Europe. The installation consists of a video combined with floor and wall collages, interweaving different historical, political, technical and digital aspects of militarization. The starting point of Sahin‘s research were two treaties signed a hundred years ago, which divided up the territories of the Ottoman Empire after World War I: the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), in which, among other things, the current national borders of Turkey were defined. In 2023, as the Treaty of Lausanne celebrates its centenary, the consequences of this arbitrary border demarcation are still felt in the region today. Sahin focuses on Lausanne, the capital of the Canton of Vaud, as the negotiating site of historic armistice agreements and peace treaties on the one hand and simultaneously the most important location for the production of combat drones today.
Cemile Sahin (*1990, Wiesbaden) studied fine arts at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. This is the first time a project of hers will be shown in the RheinMain area. She has been featured in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including the Lyon Biennale, the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn and the Kunsthalle Osnabrück (all 2022), the Akademie der Künste Berlin (2021), the Kunstverein Hamburg (2020), the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig and the NS Dokumentationszentrum München (both 2019). She published the novels TAXI (2019, Korbinian Verlag) and ALLE HUNDE STERBEN (2020, Aufbau Verlag). Sahin was a fellow of the Junge Akademie der Künste in Berlin (2019), is an arsviva award winner for visual arts (2020) and a laureate of the Alfred Döblin Medal (2020). Cemile Sahin is represented by Esther Schipper Berlin/ Paris/ Seoul.