Twisted Objectivity. Fig. 3
Twisted Objectivity. Fig. 1–5, 2022
Ink on grey paper
29.0 x 42.0 cm
The multidisciplinary work of the Berlin-based German-Turkish artist, Ahu Dural, is centred on her own biographical history and investigates the intense relationship between body, object and memory. In Twisted Objectivity, her latest series of drawings and digital artworks, she links clear, industrial forms with complex social issues.
Appearing like pictorial diagrams from an instructions booklet, these seemingly abstract metal contraptions, coalesce into figurative arrangements, with facial characteristics and surrealistic 80s hair-dos. Commentating on feminine labour and the role of women in society, the farcical interplay of industrial objects and hair mocks gendered stereotypes that so often categorise industrial production as masculine. These head-shaped diagrams, made from contorted strips of metal, come across like iron masks (cages enclosing a face) and are representative of systems of societal control. In Iran, the ruling regime’s ongoing attempt to force all women to wear the hijab headscarf has put covering up of face and hair on the frontline of current feminist politics. Hair too, in Dural’s work, becomes both a tool of emancipation and, by extension, a site of gendered taboo.
Much of Dural’s work centres around her own family’s history with a particular focus on her mother’s experience as a migrant worker. She was still a child when parts of her family were invited to move to post-war Germany to drive the country’s ascent into a global manufacturing powerhouse. That sense of dislocation is manifested by these alien but at the same time uncannily familiar objects; tight emotional knots, that through their associations and merging of past and present time frames, stir up feelings of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination. Managing to capture the intimacy between mother and daughter, and the disjunctions that come in defiance of patriarchal expectations and existences in new lands.