Born and raised in Ulm(Germany), Elif Çelik is the daughter of Turkish immigrants and a first generation colleague graduate. She works and lives in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe.
This show entitled ‘hump’ provides a sustained rumination on the status of women. The artist depicts genderless and abstract figures throughout her paintings. They reflect on the repressed status of herself as a Muslim women but also leave room for her audience to self identity with the figures.
The paintings shown in this exhibition feature three main elements: the headscarf, Turkish tea and embroidered carpets. For example, in ‘Untitled, 2022’, a group of genderless figures are standing on a patterned carpet. In ‘Der unzivilisierte Tisch, 2022’, you can see the people sitting around the table having Turkish tea. These recurring elements have their origins in the ancient Turkic cultures. Her biographical interweaving with them functions as a metaphor for the reality of her life.
The main work of this show presents a woman with a headscarf, facing ahead with a straightforward look sitting on a chair. The other chair next to her labeled ‘representation’ is vacant, which hints the lack of representation for minorities. The observation can also refer to the situation of other minority groups that may differ from the normative society.
The artist has focused on people that seem fated never to be accepted in the western world. All her figures are silent in a remonstrating act of liberation. It seems as if they chose to be active critics of the gaze and bias that was imposed on them, refusing to play the role of passively muzzled objects. Her figures have no mouths, yet her voice is clear.
“I see it as my life's task to confront the ongoing judgement and rejection by the normative German society with self-assured, determined confidence. In the hope that one day I and other people will be able to live unobserved.” - Elif Çelik
Acrylic on canvas
120 x 120 cm
ELIF ÇELIK Der unzivilisierte Tisch 2022 Acrylic,oil pastel on canvas 120 x 120 cm
ELIF ÇELIK Untitled 2020 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 90 cm
ELIF ÇELIK Untitled 2022 Acrylic,oil pastel on canvas Diameter 120 cm
ELIF ÇELIK Jesu aus Palästina 2021 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 50 cm
ELIF ÇELIK Sebastian mein Bruder 2021 Acrylic on canvas 120 x 100 cm