Canan Şenol
Antrepo No.3

Born in 1970, İstanbul. Lives in İstanbul.

In her work Canan Şenol's occupies a feminist position, addressing the corrective and normalising role of social institutions and the different religious, political and patriarchal foundations that structure everyday life.
In Fountain (2000), Şenol references Marcel Duchamp's famous work, as well as Bruce Nauman's Self-Portrait as a Fountain. Using a gender perspective and seemingly peripheral geographical context, she inverts the two works and challenges the grand narrative of Western contemporary art. The video is a close-up of a pair of tumescent female breasts hanging down against a black cloth as a kind of improvised theatre stage. The breasts are slowly but incessantly lactating, and the only sound we hear is of dripping milk.
The devastatingly beautiful daughter of a poor family in the southeastern part of Turkey is the main character in the animated video work Exemplary (2009). The storyline echoes ancient folk tales, and the narrative style is akin to One Thousand and One Nights, but addresses the contemporary context of women in Turkish society, imbued with tensions that oscillate between secular values and the emergent sensitivities of moral conservatives and institutionalised religion. Through the life of the main protagonist the narrative problematises the oppressiveness of the institutions of marriage and family, the political and religious instrumentalisation of the female body and the implementation of the notion of female beauty as a topos of orientalisation and consumerist exploitation. The video uses abundant visual vocabulary that resembles classical Ottoman miniature illuminations and calligraphy, many of them adapted from their original forms and combined with collaged fragments.