Whether in the form of a triptych in the outdoor area of the second floor or freestanding in the Riphahnsaal, Kara’s paintings are gestural abstract compositions of hybrid forms and figures and draw on the formal language of Kurdish tribes’ textiles, including a transcultural carpet knotting technique. Kara interweaves the history of Western painting with influences from indigenous cultures, thus overriding the outdated strict categorization of art and craft.
The 3-channel video installation calling together (2021) consists of intimate images and video recordings from the family environment and is set to folk music as well as poems written by the artist and read by her aunt in Kurdish. They are deliberately not translated here—an attempt to document a language that was banned in Turkey until 1991 and is also gradually being lost for this reason.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a presentation of the publication WHERE WE MEET, 2021 (Exhibit. Cat. Jan Kaps, Wiels Brussels, ed. Fabian Schöneich, graphics: Anne Stock, 83 pages) with film screenings and installation,
Melike Kara (*1985 in Bensberg, lives in Cologne) has had solo exhibitions at LC Queisser in Tbilisi (2021), Jan Kaps in Cologne (2020), Arcadia Missa in London, Witte de With The Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (both 2019), Yuz Museum in Shanghai (2018), and group exhibitions at Ludwig Forum in Aachen, Belgrade Biennale (both2021), Wiels in Brussels, and blank projects in Cape Town (both 2020), among others.