Incremental Change is a group exhibition bringing together works by Meriç Algün Ringborg, Olof Olsson, Pilvi Takala and Erdem Taşdelen at NON, Istanbul. The works presented in the exhibition explore the notion of agency in the face of external social forces and constraints, probing the limits of willful self-change via different methodologies.
The title of the exhibition gives a nod to popular self-help literature and suggests a preference for making sustained and consistent progress toward desired goals, where attention is directed more to process than end results. In their respective projects, the artists insist on laying bare the processes that they are undergoing, while straddling the line between humour and earnestness.
Meriç Algün Ringborg‘s “Which No One Will Ever See” (2012) is a series of works in various media, inspired by and responding to two cinematic works: “The Conversation” by Francis Ford Coppola and “Blow-Up” by Michelangelo Antonioni.
For “Reading Walser” (2012), performance artist Olof Olsson will surround himself with a library of Swiss author Robert Walser’s books in German within a room in NON, which he will use as his office 5 days a week during regular office hours. Olof will spend his time at NON trying to learn to speak German using only Walser’s books.
“The Trainee” by Pilvi Takala has been produced in a collaboration with Deloitte and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. In order to realize the project, the artist was working for a month as a trainee “Johanna Takala” in the marketing departement of Deloitte. The videos and slideshow reveal a spectrum of ways of looking after the odd member in a group. In the photographs and videos Takala is seen spending hours on end doing nothing. “The Trainee” explores the possibility of resistance to and subversion of social conventions through a refusal to do anything.
Erdem Taşdelen‘s “New Me” (2012) is a recent series of ink drawings incorporating various objects and texts, documenting a number of resolutions he has made over the last two years. The decidedly simple visual depiction references childhood pedagogy, specifically through the use of a punishment given to children in elementary schools where they are told to write the same sentence repeatedly.