The Third Line: Pins and Needles and That Obscure Object

Hayv Kahraman, Hold Still, 2010, Oil on linen, 106.6 x 172.7 cm

There are two strong exhibitions running till 1st December 2010 at The Third Line in Dubai that I urge you not to miss.

Pin and Needles by Hayv Kahraman explores the feminine psyche by bringing attention to the heights women will go to achieve perceived notions of beauty. The series integrates the feminineand the flesh, serving as a gateway to gainthe ultimate perfection in terms of beautyand form. Kahraman’s paintings depict scenes of women partaking in voluntary acts of 'beautification'.

Hayv Kahraman, Pic Up Stix, 2010, Oil on panel, 116.8 x 132 cm

Incorporating childhood games into this quest for perfection, reflecting how society has taken the alteration of personalappearance and body modification to a levelwhere adding, removing, enhancing, decreasing an area, section or colourresembles the simplicity and ease as achildren drawing on their faces, or creatingcolored tattoos during recess. Kahraman usesthese crayons to outline areas of flesh theywould have surgically adjusted or in anotherwhere botox injections and needles are laidin a seemingly nonchalant manner resemblingchildren in a playground.

“Games are the first learning tools in a child’slife so inserting this sort of innocence and naivety that is then combined with the notion of the perishableflesh and how frail our bodies really are, is the essence of these works. Each one of these paintings has apolarity of the plasticity and transfiguration of the flesh with the pretense and innocence of a child's toys.The puzzles add another dimension to this all by creating a layer of separation and detachment to our flesh.” Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman, Levelled Leisure, 2010, Oil on wooden panel, 204 x 153 cm


Related to the theme of female body image, That Obscure Object by Arezu reveals the intimate relationshipbetween the artist and herself, consciousness and unconsciousness. Playing with delicateimagery and a sense of voyeurism, she urges the viewer to look beyond the silhouette touncover her personal experiences.

Arezu’s series of photographs are not about the body. They present an outlet to the viewer, anentry point to her world. The images are not self-portraits but contextualised layers hidden withinthe black and white image. There is a story in each image, but one that she will not tell yet urgesthe viewer to search for - that itself is the purpose of the 'obscurity', otherwise it would simply bea photograph.

From That Obscure Object series by Arezu

From That Obscure Object series by Arezu

This series is inspired by the 1977French movie entitled “That Obscure Object of Desire” from director Luis Buñuel. The film tells the story of an older man in love with a young woman who repeatedly frustrates and denieshis romantic desires. This film is unique in that two actresses play one character each appearing un-predictably inseparate scenes representing different temperaments and characters. Areas takes from this the multiple layers of giving (glimpses of flesh) and taking (hungry attention), challenging emotion and seduction, together with the duality the subject and viewer takes on watching and being watched.

Through this series, Arezu exposes herself to an audience’s eyes, their interpretation and criticism.Her work is less about the body and more about the experience of the soul within the body. She accepts these views and encourages the viewer to also accept hers, for this is yet anotherexperience of her life, and she is ready to capture it.


Exhibition details:
Dates: Running till 1st December 2010
Location: The Third Line, Al Quoz 3 (location map)
Phone: +971 4 341 1367