Baha Görkem Yalım at 1646

Artist: Baha Görkem Yalım

Exhibition title: Mulch Sleep

Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: November 11, 2023 – January 7, 2024

Photography: Jhoeko / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646, The Hague

Can one stroll through a novel?

In the exhibition Mulch Sleep Baha Görkem Yalım introduces you to the exhibition-novel, a form of wordless writing.

Language has an undeniable influence on our perception. It dictates our reading of the world. Dominant narratives come with a history of oppression, hierarchy, and inequality. Yalım’s exploration of what language can be subverts these overpowering narratives by leaving out the written words, instead embracing a fluid nonlinearity. This is done through two tools that offer resistance: auto-fiction and sleep. In doing so, Yalım tells a relatable yet highly personal story.

Auto-fiction is a genre that fuses autobiography and fiction. In the exhibition, it finds life beyond its traditional use in literature, defining both the form and content of the show. Yalım uses this genre to redefine the contours of the self, as well as what family is in relation to property and control. In the exhibition, Yalım reclaims furniture and family items tied to rituals that connect the material with the spiritual, all objects that are part of the artist’s personal histories and memories.

Mulch Sleep is an exhibition that “dozes off” and creates an in-between world to dream anew, where emptiness becomes an object of its own. Similarly to a dream, where things happen all at once, in the exhibition space, visitors encounter sculptural works, videos, sounds and installations that poetically combine a sense of estrangement and familiarity, comfort and sterility. It is as if the exhibition is sleeping. Will you join their dream?

About Baha Görkem Yalım

Baha Görkem Yalım is a Dutch/Turkish visual artist and educator. Görkem’s practice is multidisciplinary and defined by being purposefully in flux, refusing to crystallise in any one form or medium. They employ video, sculpture, and performance, sometimes in variations and always as folds of the one and same practice. In all its variations, things come together toward durational proposals and are radically allowed to appear as themselves. Their position at times also crosses to writer, mediator, and curator and includes the production of texts across poetry, fiction, and academic reflection. Görkem’s practice is deeply tied to art history, its readings, re-readings, and misreadings. Objecthood and history (with a particular interest in “the keepsake”), abstraction (as a subversive, revolutionary tool), and contamination (as a form of collaboration) are concepts frequently thematised. Görkem interrogates the concepts through the lens of labour and gender, often summoning questions of ritual, display, and refrain. These open questions come together in a desire to diminish art and artist as unified ontological categories.

Görkem completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Honours in Art and Research at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the University of Amsterdam, and Masters in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). They recently exhibited their works in A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam (2022), Nederland Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2022), Kunstverein Amsterdam (2021), Protocinema, Istanbul (2021) and Kunstverein Stuttgart (2019). Baha Görkem Yalım lives and works in Amsterdam.