Evren Tekinoktay

Evren Tekinoktay, born 1972 in Copenhagen, DK, lives and works in Copenhagen.


Tekinoktay moves effortlessly between medias: From her hand assembled animations, which she describes as ‘moving collages’, embroidered fabric works mounted on mirror to her notorious handcrafted wall based neon reliefs with painted Plexiglas and motorized moving elements. Despite their obvious differences they all share a common interest in the collage. Tekinoktay cuts, pastes and paints a wide variety of motives, shapes and forms, thereby creating her own colourful and vibrant language. 


Tekinoktay’s works are often seen and interpreted as feminine even though Tekinoktay does not have a specific desire to express herself in an especially feministic way. She explains that her works is the result of the things that interests her. That being said, she explores the construction of female identity through the lens of a series of hermaphroditic images. By doing so, Tekinoktay seeks to dissect the plasticity of gender and sexuality to create an understanding of how we come to know and perceive our gendered identities.

    Tekinoktay characterise her neon relief works as being in drag. All shiny pastel glitz and glamour facing the world with a barely hidden structure of bolts, motors and cables behind the facade. Stubble growth pushing through face powder. The reliefs radiate heat and noise, some sort of electrified breathing creating a buzzing sound, revealing an invisible labour behind the polished facade. 


In Tekinoktay’s recent works, the mirror as an object and metaphor plays a continuously increasing importance for her visual expression. With the use of mirrors, Tekinoktay explores and questions our excessive narcissistic society. She enjoys the distortion the viewer experiences when looking at a work of art while also looking at themselves. The shape of the triangle is also an important and recurring motif throughout her work. The triangle works as a base on which everything rested or slid. In her latest series the triangles are extended into what at first appear to be exaggerated Modiglianiesque necks but could also be read as long, narrow spikes with women’s heads stuck on top. These are fetishes not portraits. A series of archetypes in profile, decapitated, spiked and festooned amidst whirling coloured wheels and the chemical glow of neon. Displayed like the heads on Traitor’s Gate, as warnings, as trophies, though not necessarily from battles she has won.    


Selected solo exhibitions include Bermuda, David Risley Gallery (2016); Ulalume, The Approach, London, UK (2015); Purple Head, Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); U, Imo Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Good Day to your eyes again, Zwinger Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2003).


Selected group exhibitions include In the Pines - Slight Return, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, DK (2017); SOMEDAY A RAIN WILL COME AND WASH ALL THE SCUFF OFF THE STREETS, Nordic Contemporary, Paris, FR (2016); Background / Foreground, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); MOON SILK LUCID WALK, Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark (2015); The Inhabitants, Apart, Hotel Kong Arthur, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012); Lysets Land, Projekt Skagen, GI. Skagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Material, Operation Room Gallery, American Hospital, Istanbul (2009); Til Vægs, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2009)