Reinterpreting the body with Meltem Işık


Meltem Işık is an artist who works primarily with photography. Her photo art focuses on the topics of the human body and the complexity that lies within being able to capture its parts equally as a whole. Because it is so difficult to view ourselves from the same point of view as anotherperson or even a camera can, Işık took it upon herself to take detailed photographs of the human body and reinterpret it.

The Ankara-born artist studied Graphic Design in the same city at Bilkent University and then Jewellery Design in New York. After completing her Masters in Visual Arts at Istanbul’s Sabancı University, she joined the collective connected to “Galeri Nev” where she celebrated her first solo exhibition “Twice into the stream”. For it, Işık shot photographs of fine bumps, wrinkles, pigment disorders and hairy body parts which we all evaluate very differently to how another person would. She printed the detailed shots and photographed her models receiving the chance to see themselves from a new point of view. In doing so, the viewer develops new associations with the depicted body parts and bridges the gap between the viewer and the viewed.


“Suspicious affinities” is the name of her second solo exhibition, for which she worked with a similar principle. In this one, however, she used the detailed shots as a startingpoint in order to put them together with new photographs in different ways.  Işık uses the divided human body in order to create new interpretations of human and animal, thereby playfully steering one’s view towards the differences and fine structures that we supposedly perceive as flaws.

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