Nazlı Gürlek


My works are the performative acts of the body in various ritualistic situations. Painting, drawing, installation and performance are the media through which these rituals take form.

Today, the body is fragmented, devalued, and oppressed. It is in need of recuperation from the structures of power and domination that imprison it. Through the artistic gestures of healing and resistance, I aim to aid it in reassembling itself; in returning to a desiring, performing, creating body, that is in constant continuation and flow with the rest of life surrounding it.

I'm interested in developing an embodied aesthetic that reflects the here and now of authentic life experiences in order to speak of freedoms, agency, resistance and empowerment.

Painting forms the core of my practice, and it is both a tool and a document. It helps me scrutinize material, emotional and spiritual dimensions of the body together with themes such as birth, death, creation, alchemy, ecology, resilience and the unconscious. I merge abstraction and figuration in a conscious attempt at negotiating the constant dialectic and tension between womanhood as an object on the one hand, and self- expression as resistance on the other. Installations and objects help me expand the performative aspect of the work into more immersive situations.

The performance pieces, on the other hand, stem from a desire to explore such issues in ways they are experienced by other bodies, as much as from a desire for connection and reflexivity. 

My questions concern eco-feminism, an embodied femininity, interrelations between the self and the environment, and the shared commonalities of all forms of life. My influences include shamanic rituals and pagan indigenous cultures of Anatolia and Asia. Main inspiration includes feelings. At the very core of each work is the constant seeking of a universal condition in which everything is interconnected.