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Mina Karwanchi “Don’t Touch Me”

20 DECEMBER 2022 – 10 JANUARY 2023

When I first saw the ceramic works of Mina Karwanchi, the first thing that came to my mind was Sir David Attenborough. Those of us that see the resemblance between the works of British biologist and natural historian David Attenborough and Mina Karwanchi are likely to be the lucky members of a generation who watched Attenborough documentaries. Since the 1950s, Attenborough is probably one of the most prominent public figures who have warned the world against environmental pollution, climate change and its dangers. His BBC documentaries broadcasted all over the world mobilized conscious circles ranging from Hollywood celebrities, to the current ruling monarch at the throne of the United Kingdom. The king, who at the time had just become a prince when he first met Attenborough in 1958, took various actions, most notably establishing foundations with the sole mission of protecting the environment. The muse of the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg, of whom the legendary Vivienne Westwood once famously quoted saying “She should rule the world”, is undoubtedly David Attenborough.

Nowadays, environmental consciousness is definitely a present thing within the art communities. It is in itself an undertaking to explain what a great mission the environmentally aware artists undertake on environmental art, which is in the curriculum of contemporary art classes today. It is therefore not a mere coincidence that major international exhibitions like the Venice Biennale continue to showcase works with themes of climate change and pollution.

While examining the ceramic works of Mina Karwanchi, whose works will be exhibited at Gallery / Miz between 20 December 2022 and 10 January 2023, one cannot fail noticing the beauty of these works lies in their fragility. Although it is sad to realize that this fragility is the fragility of nature, which has been treated rudely since the beginning of industrialization, by human “nature”’, the aesthetic experience in the face of works makes the works perceived as subtle warnings, far from being didactic

Depicting nature in her art, her lifestyle, the expressions and statements from the oceans’ point of view is ever present in Karwanchi’s works that showcases the fragility of this ecosystem. At this point, I think it is not an an exaggeration to commemorate David Attenborough’s statement stating that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, and to say that Karwachi’s expression “don’t touch me“, resembles ocean’s own distress call, is the subtext of this exhibition.

Aysegul Guchan

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