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Ahu Dural 

Twisted Objectivity. Fig. 1–3, 2022

Ink on grey paper

29.0 x 42.0 cm

Twisted Objectivity, the latest series of drawings by the Berlin-based German-Turkish artist, Ahu Dural, draws on her own biographical history to investigate the intense relationship between body, object and memory. 

Dural’s series of pictorial drawings of contorted strips of metal, coalesce into obscure head-shaped figures and bizarre 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. Much of Dural’s work centres around her own family’s history with a particular focus on her Turkish 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 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. 


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. Taken together, the works in this new series, capture the intimacy between mother and daughter, and the disjunctions that come in defiance of patriarchal expectations and existences in new lands.

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