In Zeynep Kayan’s astutely titled Temporary Sameness, the artist treats her body and the myriad of items she uses as equal subjects, highlighting their material and structural properties as well as their interlaced relationships. From lengths of pipe to mirrors and pieces of cardboard, the materials she includes within the frame are lost from their original context and stripped of their former functions. In a similar way, dressed in nondescript clothing and her face concealed, Kayan transitions seamlessly into a position of anonymous form.
The work functions as a stream of experiments without defined aims and certainly without answers. Instead, Temporary Sameness poses a series of questions about the relations and tensions between materials when placed in close proximity. How do two objects complement each other? How are shapes hidden, created or reformed by one surface placed beside another? Kayan seems as inquisitive to the endless movements and interplay between objects as one is when looking at the work, and this scrutiny sits at the centre of the artist’s and the viewers’ interest.
Importantly, Temporary Sameness is played out both through videos and photographs made from screenshots of the films, the former allowing us to closely follow Kayan’s decisions and motion in real time. Yet it is the nuanced repetition of the photographic fragments presented in succession that reflect her exhaustive commitment to this survey. Each photograph in its respective sequence contemplates a different pause for thought, granting us time to compare it with those prior, however small the variation. And when viewed together such a formation of images shows the artist’s finessed questioning of material and form, accentuated further by the conscious absence of colour. Distinctly performative, these sequences not only record the physical objects of Kayan’s intrigue, but also time, process and ideas alongside the artist, who remains a permanent character in the frame.
Kayan’s personal position within the work does hold a palpable tension. Without identity but very much a part of each and every piece, Kayan has shifted her role in the work to that of subject and author in equal measure. Temporary Sameness thus becomes a continuous performance between herself and the material, but one in which neither is anything more than their physical properties.