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Deniz Pasha - ‘Blood Memory’

Exhibition
Wednesday 16 June → Saturday 24 July

Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 14:00 - 18:00
Friday 14:00 - 18:00
Saturday 12:00 - 18:00
Sunday Closed
Place du Jardin aux Fleurs, 2 - 1000 Brussels map

Ballon Rouge (Brussels) and The Pill (Istanbul) present Deniz Pasha’s “Blood Memory,” a dual-city and concurrent exhibition of a series of paintings made between 2019 and 2021. The show will be on view from June 16 - July 31 in Brussels and from May 28 - July 3 in Istanbul. The paintings trace the reverberating effects of the Ottoman Empire’s policies towards African bodies. Deniz does not begin with the sordid history directly but rather looks in reverse, starting with the now - with African migrants and immigrants currently living in Turkey. Through portraiture, allegories, and motifs, Deniz echoes the ways in which the historical lineage of African labor and existence is reflected in the segregated, invisible, and opaque lives of the immigrant workforce in Turkey today. Deniz began meditatively with small portraits. Historically, portraiture is both the most humanizing as well as the most classist of the genres of art. She, like many Black artists today and in the past, aims to reclaim the genre; where these immigrants lead an invisible life - not seen, embraced, or understood - in her portraits they are remembered, identified, given presence and given individuality. This reclamation is in part a search for herself and her place in Turkey as much as it is an intentional negation of the erasure and segregation Black people experience in Turkish society.