To Be Seen

Solo exhibition at Köysirata Gallery in April 2017

To Be Seen is an ensemble of four video pieces, each of which creates a perspective on beauty routines. In the beginning, I tried to document evidence of my femininity, but later I was more interested in why am I doing these beauty routines in the first place. I think that beauty routines are related to the transition between private and public space. I prepare my body to meet others in social situations. This ritual comes in part from the need to fulfill social norms. I must look attractive so that I would be an accepted member of the community. One question behind my artworks is how social norms, particularly ideals and anti-ideals about the feminine body, can reach an individual’s private space. This is present in the ways how I see my body and how I treat it.  I also questioned the importance of beauty routines in my life generally.




My Pussy Is Too Hairy, 2017. One channel video installation, 00:15:07, stereo.

The work refers to social expectations of what a woman's body ― in this case, the vulva ― should look like. A woman is not allowed to be too hairy. The work was made by filming pubic hair shaving. Framing is limited to the legs, on which shaved hairs are beginning to shed on. The length of the video equals with the time that the shaving act consumed. The sound of the video consists of the buzzing of a hair shaver.


The installation view of an one channel video installation titled as Brevity (2017). There is a bottle of toner in front of white background.

Brevity, 2017. 250 x 120 cm. One channel video installation, continuous loop. Installation view.


The bottle in the video refers to the hourglass symbol used in Vanitas-themed still life paintings in the 17th century. Those paintings remind us of human mortality, the brevity of life and the transience of worldly wealth. The hourglass symbolizes especially the brevity of life. The work leads a person to ponder, what is meaningful while we are in this world only for a moment.



Animation used in the one channel video installation Brevity.

During six months I took pictures of my cosmetic jars whilst morning and evening beauty routines. I combined the images into a moving picture, where the jars are consumed from full to empty. The animation is projected onto a canvas in the middle of the exhibition space, allowing the work to be viewed from both the front and back. The work is soundless.


A installation view of a three channel video titled as Repeating Performatives I: Circulation (2017). There is a dirty makeup sponge on white background in a screen on the left, an eye in a screen in the middle and a powder on white background in a screen on the right.

Repeating Performatives I: Circulation, 2017. Three channel video, continuous loop, mono. Installation view.


The title of the work series (Repeating Performatives) refers to the concept of performativity by the American philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler. Performativity simply means that gender is repeated performatives, i.e. actions. In this series of works, the performatives are feminine beauty routines. For the first part of the work series, makeup and makeup removal were selected from the beauty routines. Foundation accumulates on the makeup sponge and the powder wears off. Eye make-up is wiped off. The repetition of routines seems endless: make-up is added and then removed again and again.

I photographed the makeup sponge and powder during makeup for about three months and created an animation from the photos. The soundscape of the piece is based on a make-up removal video.


Repeating Performatives II, 2017. Two channel video, 00:12:04, mono. Installation view.


In the second part of the work series, nail filing and hair brushing were chosen as performatives, because I aim to draw the viewer's attention to the body's "secretions", such as hair. The idea behind the work is that the body produces hair, nails, sweat, etc., although the formation of "secretions" is controlled by beauty routines.

The accumulation of hair on the brush is an animation. I photographed the brush for about three months while brushing my hair daily and edited the images together to achieve the impression of movement. The sound of the piece comes from the nail filing video.