Personal and Political Identities: Art by Fatma Bucak

A still from a video by Fatma BucakBlessed are you who come - conversation on the Turkish-Amernian border (video still)

Fatma Bucak was born in Iskenderun, Turkey, and now lives and works in both London and Istanbul. The artist is known for her works dealing with personal and political identities, which often take the form of multimedia installations or participatory experiences.

A photograph of an arrangement of objectsUndetermined remains (from series A Study of Eight Landscapes), archival pigment print


I enjoy the way that Bucak employs metaphor and symbolism in her artworks. It seems that in many of the artist’s pieces, an object must be examined beyond its inherent features and appearance to uncover the layered narratives that Bucak is working with. For example, in the artist’s series A Study of Eight Landscapes, arrangements of odd, possibly mismatched objects become densely referential and coded.


The artist also frequently uses collaboration as a way of drawing out her ideas and creating works that address audiences in a visceral way. In a 2015 exhibition, for example, Bucak talked to numerous people living in communities affected by border negotiations to understand the unique feelings and challenges related to that space.

A photograph of a person dragging a figure across dry groundPadre IV (from series Melancholia II), digital archival pigment print

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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