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Esra Rotthoff

September 18, 2013 – November 2, 2013

The Empire Project, Defterdar Yokuşu No 35, Cihangir, Istanbul

Berlin-based, German/Turkish artist Esra Rotthoff’s shows make use of a variety of mediums including photography and video. Her latest solo exhibition is a sort of hybrid between a performance piece and a soulful portraiture of exchanging a kiss. As well as that, the exhibition allows viewers to witness previous exchanges between the creator and her inspirations.

Using a style which calls to mind glossy pop culture editorials, Rotthoff first hooks the viewer. Then she presents at alternate reality. Rather than direct her subjects, Rotthoff allows the rules to be set by the muse him/herself. The muse directs the kiss so Rotthoff, who is present in most of the images, becomes the object of desire herself. In this role reversal, the muse, the artist and the audience are forced to question who really controls the image, thereby instigating a discussion on the essence and nature of artistic exchange.

In her work ‘Esra turkish muse kiss’ (above), the artist is being kissed at a Turkish hamam, perhaps using the setting to question her own identity on a number of different levels.

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