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Turkey’s EU membership added a new dimension to many discussions of political concepts in this country, and as it was conceptualizing its own process of change it caused Europe to change. I think it led to a series of crises that revealed Europe’s secret paradigms. As it discussed the political boundaries of its own image with those it included in and excluded from the European parliament, it was forced to come face to face the Europe it had described as a fictional/mythical place of law.

While I was thinking that as a result of these discussions, “Europe and us” had ceased to be opposing poles and had intertwined, I happened to visit France. During the three months I spent in a guest artist program in Vitrysur- Seine, which Paris distances from itself and where there was living proof of the hypocritical immigration policies and the Citées, I realized that I was in the right place for the “Waiting Room” project, which seemed obvious to me politically but whose mystery I had been unable to solve. When I positioned myself outside the political map but within the cultural map, Europe was transformed into a stage somewhere between utopia and a waiting room. If we can leave the clichés to one side, I wanted to research this culture that was seeping through my skin through the body of the Immigrant in which I had settled temporarily, and I realized that our common problem was the struggle to recapture our “Naked Life”. To understand where and when our own naked lives began and which vague powers had unknowingly contaminated them, I began first with my own life and progressed toward the question of whether I could form a poetic field of existence to counter the paradoxes of the dominant and remain on a threshold amidst all of those tensions.

The imaginative “New Citizen” that I problematized concerning the immigrants at Le MAC VAL gradually became more placed pendant and focused on the EU parliament building in Strasbourg. This building is also a display of Europe’s mental and cultural unity and an architectural monument to what has come to be appreciated as a utopian place. As the competition jury panel stated, it fit the criteria perfectly. I found the architectural features of the EU parliament building and the statements made about it quite interesting. In an architectural analysis reflecting the Tower of Babel as a European idea, this building reflects the formal synthesis of European mythos, symbols and allegories. As an idea space, with a multilingual, timeless and perfect order inspired by the Tower of Babel, it seems to wish to become eternal by leaving history and the quotidian outside the door. As such, the building became for me a place for a work to be composed in order for “being to be able to speak”. My aim was not just to reflect my own emotions, which oscillated between envy and gratitude. I also wanted to problematize it within the space and time dimension in which Europe was discussing its own values in relation to immigration policies. The lives that remained suspended in the long line in front of the EU’s door came together in “Camp”.

İnci Eviner

“The Camp is a place where it is impossible to
separate the real from the law, rules from practice
and exception from law; but in spite of this it is a
place that constantly separates the two.”

“By casting the basic categories of the nation
state into doubt, the immigrant turns it upside

“The immigrant makes possible a new category
as the only real naked life. This way has neither
the structure of human rights nor the order of the

“The political system no longer suggests the
lifestyles or legal rules we are accustomed to
hearing about, and even worse, it relies on an
indefinable and obfuscatory sermon that can
absorb all the lifestyles and rules that exceed the
law; ‘A settlement that unsettles’” (G. Agamben)

İnci Eviner

Dystopia: Marking the 200th Anniversary of Karl Marx’s Birth, Municipal Museum of Jena, Jena, 2018
Who’s Inside You?: Inci Eviner Retrospective, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, 2016
Rainbow Caravan, Aichi Triennale, Aichi, 2016
The Game Settled Into a Cagey Midfield Match, SPOT Production, Istanbul, 2016
Home Works 7, Ashkal Alvan, Beirut, 2015
El Paraiso Cerrado / Das Verriegelte Paradies, Hotel des Inmigrantes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013
Show Time, Choreography in Contemporary art, Copenhagen, 2012
Living in Evolution, Busan Biennial, Busan, 2010
Beyond Crisis, 6th Curitiba Biennial, Curitiba, Brasil, curators Alfons Hug, Ticio Escobar, Curitiba, 2011

Installation view

HD Video, 3’ loop