As part of the Alserkal Programming, Istanbul-based artist Hale Tenger presents a public intervention curated by Mari Spirito at the Yard (in Alserkal Avenue), to be unveiled in March during Art Dubai. The work titled “Under, 2018” is the artist’s first major commission in the UAE and her first outdoor intervention in almost a decade.
“Under, 2018” originates from the artist’s memory of a fictional narrative that describes an ancient hunting ploy used by aristocrats: nets were set in the woods much earlier than the hunting date, stretching low throughout the forest so that the birds became accustomed to living under the net, adapting by only flying low. Once the nets were removed the birds would no longer fly high, as if they had forgotten that the sky has no limits, thus becoming easy prey for the noble hunting parties. Currently, tens of millions of game birds are being bred at farms set in nature with nets, creating the same effects on these birds today, for bird hunting markets. The physical and psychological experience of Hale Tenger’s installation touches on many aspects of human behaviour and systems of control, social as well as civic. This work expresses a feeling that is shared from Tenger’s home in Istanbul, to its site in Dubai, as well as across global contemporary societies. In order to re-align and/or change, the act of recognition, even the smallest shift in perspective, needs to take place.