9/22/2020 - 11/27/2020
Lâle Müldür - Milat
Yapı Kredi Culture and Art
What may be the relations between an image’s appearance in a poem, whose medium is the language, and its manifestation in a painting?
What may a poet’s paintings tell us about her universe of images?
The exhibition “Milat” running at Yapı Kredi Cultural Center from 22 September until 31 October 2020 began with these inquiries. Müldür’s paintings on display in “Milat” span the years from 2018 to 2020. The exhibition is named after “Milat” the first poem in Müldür’s poetry book Tehlikeliydi, Biliyordum (It Was Dangerous, I Knew It) from Yapı Kredi Publications. Penned in a period when the poet shifted her focus to painting, the poem offers clues about Müldür’s relation to this art.
Throughout her life, Lâle Müldür has had substantial ties to painting. She herself also made paintings rarely through the years and only showed them to close friends. She has always had numerous painters in her entourage, conversing with them, appearing in their paintings, or posing for portraiture. These painters’ portraits of Müldür cover the walls of her house, which today resembles a poetry and painting workshop and is never devoid of visitors. Müldür, for her part, has frequently traversed visual portraits in her poems. These portraits may sometimes present us with clues in the form of a dedication, and sometimes reveal their having been penned as a poetic portrait with their title. The portraits in Müldür’s poetry are generally of individuals with whom she has developed a certain intimacy; sometimes of the friends with whom she had spent time together, or friends she lost; and sometimes, historical figures such as Albrecht Dürer.
Lâle Müldür’s shift towards dealing with portraiture as an image, not in poetry but in painting, corresponds to a period when, according to her, “she fell out with words”. Müldür made portraits of her close friends visiting her, and captured in a gestural manner the sentiments, interactions or words that stood out in that encounter, rather than trying to produce a depiction on paper which closely resembles her models. Müldür’s figures on paper may also be construed as conversation pieces, in a sense. These paintings arrive through the conversation between the poet and her model; they figure within and unfold during that conversation.
It was the age of red and all was red.
Suddenly, I caught myself on a window
To the point where a wild surreal dance starts from inside
Hallelujah starts from the inside
As carved from eclectic marble I am I
Beginning from the inside
But to the extent that a painting is a fundamental part of
Who can claim it as painting
that He didn’t escape for a while
Greetings to two skies obliquely nude
As the new year sculpture is formed under a sky constantly saturated with bright stars
who can claim He didn’t really come
“Milat” is curated by Kevser Güler, the Director of Exhibitions of Yapı Kredi Culture and Arts. There is a catalogue conceived for the exhibition designed by Ulaş Uğur and it encompasses a foreword by Güler, a selection of poems from Lâle Müldür, and an interview of Müldür and Fisun Yalçınkaya.
* The title “Milat” means “Year Zero” in English. It is kept in Turkish in both languages refering to the poem from which the exhibition took its title from.