stronger still

Artist Talk: Zehra Doğan

As part of the exhibition complex stronger still and on the occasion of her solo exhibition prison no. 5, the artist Zehra Doğan is a guest in the garden of the Gorki. 

The selection exhibited in the show prison no. 5, is composed of paintings, drawings and journals Doğan produced during her three-year-long imprisonment in Turkey. Having been convicted on charges of disseminating »terrorist propaganda«, for a single painting she shared on social media, Doğan joined the collective spirit of resistance she found in the prison and turned the imposed conditions of her confinement into a boundless productivity. Due to the prison administrations` harsh restrictions and lack of any material for artistic practice, she had to improvise with whatever she found inside. Employing the fabric of the clothes that her mother kept bringing during her visits, large envelopes and empty letter pages sent by Naz Öke and other friends, leftover food, the colour of ground spices and her menstrual blood, Doğan's works display her resilience against patriarchal and political pressure and the severe conditions of confinement. The journals and collectively produced and handwritten newspapers included in the exhibition reveal Doğan’s journalistic engagement and her assumption of the role of the witness by chronicling the absurdities of the prison procedures, unjust and chauvinist regulations of the Turkish state, verbal and physical assaults and the consequent acts of solidarity and defiance among the inmates.

In conversation with
Naz Öke