02 May, 2013

Cigdem Aydemir

Cigdem (pronounced 'Chidem') Aydemir is a Sydney based Australian artist of Turkish Muslim heritage.  Like a number of other artists she addresses the wearing of the Burqa and the issues facing contemporary Muslim women but she does it with a quirky Australian humour that is uniquely her own.


See Video Showcase of works (2011 - 2012) here


"Cigdem Aydemir's Bombshell video challenges the viewer's prejudices by featuring the artist wearing a black burqa that leaves only her eyes visible.

Aydemir's outfit billows around her outstretched legs as ominous clouds move behind her. The sound of thunder or possibly bombs can also be heard.
Its a "re-creation of the iconic scene in which Marilyn Monroe stands above a subway vent from The Seven Year Itch"

Aydemir said the video explored the image and idea of the burqa as a possible terrorist threat. ''It's menacing but very beautiful at the same time,'' she said.

Aydemir's Bombshell will be announced on Thursday as the winner of the $10,000 emerging artist award of the Redlands Art Prize. The Redlands Art Prize is at the National Art School gallery in Darlinghurst from May 3 to June 1

full article here


"Cigdem Aydemir's Extremist Activity is a series of performances that explore body politics, feminism and Islamophobia, in particular the idea of the Niqab and Burqa being a security threat. These performances, documented in both in video and photography, are about reclaiming body-space. The forms worn on the body (or rather the body worn on the forms) create and exaggerate voids whilst also parodying the proper concealment, or disclosure, of that space. Extremist Activity explores the concept of the body as an occupied space and creates a dialogue between the viewers (both in and out of the gallery) and their perceptions of this culturally, historically and politically significant garment and the women who wear them.'

full article here

Cigdem Aydemir talks about her upcoming show at A-M Gallery 28 March 2012 from A-M Gallery on Vimeo.

Performance and Q&A with Cigdem Aydemir as part of her show ‘Extremist Activity’ at A-M Gallery, Newtown, on 31 March 2012 from A-M Gallery on Vimeo.

Article about "Extremist Activity" here


"the Newtown mural of a woman in a full-face Muslim covering with a strike symbol over her face and the words ''Say No to the Burqa'' is the subject of an anti-discrimination complaint.

Cigdem Aydemir, 27, a Muslim, artist and high-school art teacher, said she felt ''completely offended and insulted'' when she saw the mural pop up in her neighbourhood."

full article here


Hair / Veil (2011) from Cigdem Aydemir on Vimeo.

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