07.12.2023 - 03.02.2024
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Labirent Sanat is pleased to announce Serhat Akavcı's solo exhibition titled "Tabloid Tales", which includes photography, video, and sculpture works focusing on oral/written narratives, between 7 December 2023 and 3 February 2024.
“Tabloid Tales” invites us to understand ourselves through the archetypal motifs and symbols used in the tales we are all familiar with. In the works that scrutinize pathological elements in tales, it seeks to explore the dark aspects of our collective self through disturbing, limit-experiences. Our reactions when things go wrong often provide the most accurate references to our personality. These reactions are impulsive and likely reflect similar behaviors exhibited by our ancestors in the moments of fear.
A generation that knows fairy tale heroes, which are products of oral culture such as legends and myths, from refined picture books, Disney's cartoons, toys of heroes, and even Hollywood cinema, may fall into the illusion that fairy tales are just a magical, happy and sparkling world; but tales also have a dark, terrifying, fearful side that brings to light our deepest anxieties.
The creation process of the works we brought together at Labirent Sanat under the title “Tabloid Tales” begins with Serhat Akavcı's discovery and questioning of the dangerous, uncanny land of tales. “Why did the little match girl die?” It did not and could not remain a question phrase coming from the lips of a person who read/listened to the tale. Perhaps one of the biggest flaws of contemporary humanity is indifference: to violence, injustice, poverty, every form of inequality, all kinds of discrimination... The thinking and questioning process that underlies the exhibition is initiated by the tragic hypothermia death of The Little Match Girl one winter evening on a crowded street, as she tried to warm herself by igniting the matches she had to sell, amidst indifferent gazes. Our indifference, unfortunately, makes possible to encounter the “Little Match Girl” on today's streets.
Although it is emphasized that tales always talk about extraordinary events that happen to unreal people and living things in an uncertain time and place, it is not impossible to draw parallels with life. The sense of reality in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the expression “But all the story of the night told over, and all their minds transfigured so together, more witnesseth than fancy’s images and grows to something of great constancy, but, howsoever, strange and admirable”  has also been a source of inspiration for the creation of Serhat Akavcı's works.
“Tabloid Tales” exhibition takes its form based on the book that the Grimm Brothers published well-known tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Snow White, The Little Match Girl, Rapunzel, All-Kinds-of-Fur, Little Red Cap, and Cinderella, collected from storytellers in the first half of the 19th century, complete with footnotes containing all layers of the narrative and relatively more original variations. The reason for this choice was to capture the traces of changes and transformations observed in tales over the years, reflect them in the exhibited works, and offer the audience a layered reading and comparison opportunity between the times when these tales were narrated.
The exhibition takes its name from the contextual similarity between the contents we read in tabloids  and the pathological elements in tales. While the uncertainty of time and place, supernatural powers, appearances of characters, the omission of physical details of heroes within the narrative, and many elements such as magic and enchantment may create a sense of disconnect from real life in tales, the inevitable source that nourishes the storyteller's imagination is rooted in this world, compelling us to establish connections at some point.
You can see Serhat Akavcı's solo exhibition titled “Tabloid Tales” at Labirent Sanat until 3 February 2024.
 William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, An Electronic Classics Series Publication.
 “Tabloid” typically refers to a type of journalism or media format characterized by featuring stories of violence, crime, or scandal presented in a sensational manner.