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Gulsah Ayla Bayrak

FOMU Fotomuseum
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Gulsah Ayla Bayrak (born 1997), is an interdisciplinary artist from Belgium, working on the larger themes of identity and belonging, in a complex world of interactions between her the different fragments that she embodies: Her Turkish roots and her political identity as a citizen of modern Europe, juxtaposed for the ramifications of feminist theory when thinking about the body and the self and the cultural and political consequences of queerness in an era of increasing polarization, but also of multiple polarities. Taking the migration stories in her own family as a starting point, Bayrak draws on personal biographies, to re-narrate events in such a way as to reconstruct the experience of lived time, and not merely chronologies. In her practice, moving seamlessly between Asia and Europe, both physically and emotionally, the polarity of global north versus global south emerges sharply, around the political definition of “East”—a borderland of European modernity, wholly constructed by it. The idea of the fragment resurfaces in Bayrak’s projects as a partial narrative, constitutive of our shared, social experience, and which cannot be dovetailed or manipulated, so that it remains always alive, fresh, fragile, and unfinished. In this inconclusiveness the artist finds paradox, and within paradox, the complexities of modern identities fabricated from torn off bits of different, larger structures. In dealing with objects as markers of memory, and with memories as physical objects Gulsah Ayla Bayrak creates unfinishable threads of historicity, unfolding in simultaneity, searching for a lost, but ultimately unidentifiable, temporal index.