Nil Yalter: Exile is a hard job

The Paris-based Turkish artist’s works on politics, feminism and migration are as relevant now as they were 50 years ago

By Mark Rappolt

Nil Yalter, Su Gurbetlik Zor Zanaat Zor, 2016, posters in the streets of Istanbul, from the series Exile is a Hard Job, 1976–2016. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, Temporary Dwellings 2, Paris – New York – Istanbul (detail), 1974–76, photographs, objects and drawings. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, El Exilio Es Un Duro Trabajo (detail), 2012, posters in the streets of Valencia, Spain, from the series Exile is a Hard Job, 1976–2016. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, El Exilio Es Un Duro Trabajo, 2012, posters in the streets of Valencia, Spain, from the series Exile is a Hard Job, 1976–2016. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, Turkish Immigrants (detail), 1976, b&w video, 20 photographs and drawings. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, Exile is a Hard Job, 2013, posters in the streets of Mumbai, from the series Exile is a Hard Job, 1976–2016. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, Installation of the posters from the series Exile is a Hard Job in the streets of Istanbul, 2016. Courtesy the artist Nil Yalter, Temporary Dwellings, Paris – New York – Istanbul (detail), 1974–76, photographs, objects, drawings and video. Courtesy the artist

The relationship between people and places, and the assumptions made about both, underpins the dominant discourses of contemporary politics worldwide. Examples are myriad, from the seemingly endless refugee crises in Europe and elsewhere, to the more loudmouthed mythological articulations of Trumpists, Brexiteers, followers of Hindutva and various other forms of nationalism, all of which seek to articulate who does and doesn’t belong within the defining lines of various accidents of cartography on our planet. We live in an age –…

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