I am a Turkish-American, secular-humanist, feminist artist. In my work, I explore socio-political, religious, and even cultural constructs of identities. I am critical of these constructs – they are oppressive. Likewise, I’m suspicious of any apparatus which reifies these constructs — they are exploitative. I am in defense of a society that is secular-humanist and civil. Because only in such a society can the notions of the national, cultural, and religious can be critically negotiated. In the absence of the capacity for critique, the apparatus takes full reign over the assignment of meaning to identities, either through epaulettes, handcuffs, royal crowns, or burqas.

My work engages the critical dialogue on identity politics by tracing my own identity in time and space. I mix traditional and new media, installation and drawing, netart and performance to explore the many layers of my own existence within this discourse. Sometimes, my work is a poetic interpretation of an idea, or a playful exploration of a concept; sometimes it’s the urgency to speak up, or a need to let out a painful sigh.

I believe that a secular society draws its strength from the knowledge produced, recorded, circulated, and disseminated. I see each record of human experience, each venture of curiosity, each delight in fantasy as labor for humanity. In this regard, I see the sharing of my own experience not only voluntary, but necessary.

ilknur Demirkoparan