exhibition opening on September 9th at 7 pm
in the presence of the artist
Selma Alaçam grew up as daughter of a German mother and a Turkish father in the German City of Mannheim. A life between two cultures that Selma Alaçam reflects in her videos, photographs and kilim works. To which group do we belong and what constitutes our personality? Selma Alaçam touches on some of the big questions of our time, questions of identity and interculturality. With delicate humour she comments on cultural expectations, peculiarities and conflicts.
In the video „Different Conditioning“ Selma Alaçam repeatedly presses the seal of the Federal Republic of Germany on the skin of the face, covering it with a growing number of black eagle marks. With her dark hair pulled away from her face, her light skin sticks out against the black background until the artist melts into the blackness nearly becoming invisible. The process of vanishing and the vehemence with which she induces the vanishing by her own hands, is disturbing and puts questions not easily answered.
A coat of black paint also covers the kilims of the „heartstrings II“ series. Selma Alaçam uses spray paint to colour the kilims on which she had layed out the lettering of pop song lines prior to that. While the patterns of the kilim, traditional medium for the weavers wishes and thoughts, become as invisible as the artist’s face in the abovementioned video, the songtext – of high emotional relevance to Selma Alaçam – is left the only window showing the traditional kilim patterns and enclosing them. The artist’s own „heartstring“, stemming from western pop culture, entwines with the traditional kilim pattern, covering it in an act not less vehement than the covering of the face with paint.
For her artworks Selma Alaçam uses materials from private and public context. Starting with a super 8 video of her parent’s wedding, holiday snapshots, videos and photographs of her own person up to found material from youtube and interviews she had taken in a semi-public context Selma Alaçam in her choice of sources and material takes her search for identity beyond her own self-accessment, scrutinising what constitutes muslim identity between cultures in Germany and international.
Videoworks, photography and kilim works on show from September 10th until October 29th at galerie postel, Hamburg