22 September - 30 October 2016
Curator: Ali Emir Tapan
@ Space Debris Istanbul

"Ece’s work stands somewhere between esoteric and scientific and is at once profound and selfish. If you ask her, she is casting spells, on places, people, rather than making statements. She is moving through the boundaries of self, navigating, crushing, flowing.

The exhibition “I lift my lids and all is born again” is a practice of encapsulation. The gallery-space becomes an allegory for the body, both physical and magnetic. Ece moves through interfaces of form and mind, providing the viewer with a memory of something that quite doesn’t belong to reality as we know it.

A secret is something that only belongs to the owner. Ece Bal invites the viewer to distantly experience the presence of her own secrets, while making a few of their own. "

Ali Emir Tapan, 2016

Untitled Wallpaper
LUNA ECE BAL, “Untitled”, Wallpaper, dimensions variable, 2016

She was lost in an interfacial limbo.
Constant recreation of the self
Covering her wall with this wallpaper
Living in the boundless, limitless
infinity of Facebook. Let it leek out of
the designated space!
Emojis surround her. They make her the
women she is. Picking and choosing the
ones that will be perfect representatives of her unique personality. Never using
something incoherent..
The female is created and recreated on
this medium. Image on top of image, words
on top of image, emojis next to words.
Where is she?
Which one is the real her, amidst this
multiplicity of reproductions.
Post something today!
Describe who you are!
Why go private? Be private but be public enough!
Luna Ece Bal, goes back to the age old self-questioning of one’s public image. As an active user of Facebook and Instagram, both in parallel with her artistic practice, everyday she reproduces images representing the identity she pursues. If the artist has the power of generating new ideas, whether conceptual or artistic, isn’t she also entitled to generate ideas about herself?
These ideas will in turn create an identity of her once reflected on the audiences.
What Bal’s practice, including this specific work but also apart from it, seeks for in my opinion is a path to self-identification. Her works accentuate her version of femininity through a very personal interpretation of female sexuality. Almost like an omnipresent performer, she appears in imagery as well as in form (she uses casts modeled from her own body). Her production process is an ongoing performance.
Going back to the ‘Untitled’ wallpaper, this work consists of repetitive and highly manipulated images of a naked female body, alongside with very cliché social media buttons and phrases. A selection of emojis accompanies them. This selection is a very exclusive one in a way that it does only involve pink, white and purple emojis, those having erotic as well as mystic connotations in the artistic language of Bal: the magic ball, the spiral shell, the burning candle, the exotic pink flower, the splash of water. These preconceived digital images only reveal their symbolic meanings and can only be understood through a reading of her total body of works. For Bal’s language these are nuance additions, the last retouches to the identity (the total material produced online) she’s creating both for a metaphorical caricature and for her distinct artistic practice. These materials however float in a Photoshopic interface. The gray scale, which is non-existant once the image exported out of the program, constitutes a digital limbo that traps not only her artistic persona but all of us producing online identities on the social media. The identity of an individual, whose real life personage is reflected on a digital medium, becomes a lonely spirit stuck in the deep cave of Hades. As the social media provides us with new identities or reproductions of a certain one with each post, do we end up with thousands and thousands of souls stuck in the cave we co-created with Mark Zuckerberg? Are we becoming our own Hades?