My practice aims to redefine and challenge our relationship with the Islamic religion, evoking clashes of culture. Using a projector, I superimpose patterns scanned from Turkish baths and mosques onto figures illuminated in darkness. A simultaneous act of blasphemy and reconciliation, this gesture is meant to be as much a political critique as it is an attempt at introducing humanity into a culture where being human is not always permitted. The strong tradition of Aniconism in Muslim societies that seeks to prevent idolatry is still alive and well today. Depicting people has long been taboo because of it, and ornamental geometry and fractal art have partially developed as a result of this ban. In breaking this rule, by using the very product it has created, I hope to address the erasure of individual identity in Muslim societies, and offer a more vulnerable representation of Islam. Hüzün means sorrow in Turkish.
Born in Paris in 1991 and raised in Istanbul, Sarp Kerem Yavuz is a multimedia artist working primarily with photography, light projection, and video. His works explore various aspects of gender, politics, religion, and violence. He is the recipient of several international accolades, including the 2016 Palm Springs Photo Festival Emerging Photographer award, presented by Leica Camera, the 2013 New Artists Society Award from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the 2013 Leah Freed Memorial Prize. In 2013, he became the youngest artist to exhibit and be included in the permanent Photography Collection of the Istanbul Modern Museum. His works are also included in The Luciano Benetton Collection as part of Imago Mundi, in the permanent collection of the CICA Museum in South Korea, the Norton Museum in Florida, USA, the Impossible Works Collection in Berlin, the Soho House Collection in Istanbul and New York, and The Marmara Hotel Collection in New York. He has exhibited in Copenhagen, Sydney, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, Chicago and Istanbul. He is represented by Chicago-based Carl Hammer Gallery in the United States and Singapore-based Yavuz Gallery in Asia and the Middle East. He lives and works between Chicago, Los Angeles and Istanbul.