Scrolling with Ayşe Erkmen
Galerie Barbara Weiss currently presents an exhibition by the Berlin-based Turkish artist Ayşe Erkmen. This presentation brings together new works that frequently touch on the nature and pervasiveness of digital media. The show’s title — scrolling — alludes to an all too frequent activity in our everyday lives. Ayşe Erkmen’s practice has long examined the social and political implications of physical space — including infrastructure, urban planning and architecture. As our lived experience increasingly takes place in digital space, Erkmen’s artistic inquiry has followed. In Capable, 2019, the artist’s Bitmoji avatar jumps rope, frowns at the weather, gets stuck in traffic and springs out of a slice of birthday cake. This contemporary format of self-portraiture is familiar to us and almost soothing in its superficiality. Erkmen’s lighthearted appropriation of a cartoon app also reveals the way in which we have come to understand ourselves through algorithms that are outside of our control — pointing to the ways that technology can foster both understanding and misunderstanding.