Beauty of Bigotry

Memed Erdener: Conclusion and Then Rationalization, 2017. Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 110 x 160 cm

Influenced by myths, history of nation states and religions, Memed Erdener incorporates multiple genres of imagemaking in order to reveal corruption and contamination of regimes by also rethinking historical figures. Consisted of paintings—oil pastel and acrylic on paper and canvas—and objects with found materials such as iron, brass, prescription lens, plastic fork, Beauty of Bigotry engages discourse around the constructive and destructive aspects of the world as well as power dynamics with various references from Eros to Ottoman Divan poetry to contemporary leader figures.

Time, being a recurring topic in Erdener’s oeuvre, manifests itself in the exhibition, mining the notion of authority. In his text, Beauty of Bigotry, accompanying the exhibition Erdener creates a persona that embodies the rulers of the vast regions of the Ottoman Empire and The Turkish Republic from the beginning until now. In Erdener’s militarized world, amorph freak body parts transform into protagonists and generate fictitious arrangements that travel around various time zones. In the painting, The Hand of The State (2017), an arm wearing a golden clock tapers into a hand with penis shaped fingers. The golden clock refers to the rational mind, recalling the well-known saying “Time is money!” Reminiscent of a tired man nodding off and pressing his weight on you in the public transportation, Erdener’s characters and objects such as Master of Thieves (2017) or the objet trouvé Sin is Sacred (2015) reveal an uncanny entity and poke the audience.

Selected solo shows and presentations by Memed Erdener a.k.a Extrastruggle:  I Only Did What I Was Told To Do (Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, 2016), There is No God in the Sky Only Birds (Gallery NON, Istanbul, 2014), I Didn’t Do This, You Did  (Gallery NON, Istanbul, 2010); and group shows: Minor Heroisms (Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, 2015), Objets Trouves, Delvoyeurs (Gallery Didier Claes, Brussels, 2015), Black & White (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2013; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2011), The 13th Biennial of Art: Pure Expression (Serbia, 2008) and 10th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2007).

Beauty of Bigotry is accompanied by a catalogue, with texts by Memed Erdener and Lotte Laub. The press preview will take place on November 24 at 11 a.m. at Zilberman Gallery–Berlin. For more inquiries, please contact

Fri, 24 Nov, 18.00h
25 Nov 201727 Jan 2018

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