Critics’ Picks

View of “Haris Epaminonda,” 2009.

View of “Haris Epaminonda,” 2009.


Haris Epaminonda

Rodeo | Istanbul
Siraselviler No: 49 Yeni Hayat Apart. Flat 1
October 10–December 5, 2009

To the right of the entrance hangs a small, framed book page that depicts a man looking up at a towering termite mound. The unusual scale and perspective of this landscape with figure sets the tone for the formation and play of space experienced in Epaminonda’s “VOL. IV.” The exhibition follows Epaminonda’s solo presentation “VOL. I, II & III,” which took place at the Malmö Konsthall earlier this year, and here the mazelike reorganization of the space contains a series of three-dimensional collages that Epaminonda describes as “sentences. ” While the first is made up of just one found folio—the image of the man and termite mound—subsequent collages mix bought sculptures placed on pedestals with both black-and-white and colorful secondhand bookplates framed and hung or, in the densest composition, stacked against the wall. Her desire to play with traditional museum hierarchies and the usual formats of display is evident in each scene, but also in the way the presentation feels like an illustrated encyclopedia from which different images or shapes are allowed to haunt the memory, the relationships among them left open to interpretation.

What is striking is that the only objects made to measure by Epaminonda are the beautifully crafted pedestals, each one handpainted in a shade of white or eggshell gray, alongside carefully chosen palettes for the numerous frames. This attention to certain details shifts focus onto the pieces whose job it is to support the objects of display, pieces that in this exhibition also take on the more prominent role of masking and hiding selected iconography. A final statement locates the entire exhibition: A delicate wooden sculpture ensquares the gallery’s central column in a tense embrace, framing it as an implied image that ironically can never be captured in publication.