Critics’ Picks

İrem Tok, Time Machine, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.

İrem Tok, Time Machine, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Istanbul

İrem Tok

Pilot Gallery
Sıraselviler Caddesi No.83/2
March 7–April 27, 2013

“Against the Wind,” the second solo exhibition by Istanbul-based artist İrem Tok at this gallery, offers a collection of multimedia works produced during a three-month residency at Villa Waldberta near Munich. Together the pieces conjure up an atmosphere of solitude, and bring fairy tales to mind, at least at first. Two C-prints—Self-Portrait with Heart and Self-portrait with Mirror (all works 2013)—present a shy-looking young protagonist. Perhaps a contemporary Alice in a snowy Wonderland, she transforms throughout the exhibition, and she is literally at its core in the form of a mechanical sculpture titled Time Machine, which features a cutout image of the artist at the top, turning like a weather vane. Instead of directions, the piece references time (N for now, P for past, F for future, and U for unknown), and it points to all the works in the show.

Tok is one of the youngest artists represented by Pilot Gallery, and she is relatively new to the local art scene. So far her work has succeeded in conjuring the attitude of a wanderer. For her 2011 exhibition here, for instance, Tok was the main character of a story. A lenticular print showed the artist wearing a snorkel and running into the sea, with a sinking ship in the distance; near this was a periscope through which one could peer into the second floor of the gallery. Now, with her current exhibition, it is possible to imagine that Tok’s work will continue to offer more journeys and additional twists and turns. While the images that Tok presents are familiar—such as a house, a park, and snow—all are infused with the thrill of the unknown.