Art Talks: Mehtap Baydu & Selman Bilal & Ceren Taşkent Acarol

Bilsart is hosting Mehtap Baydu’s exhibition entitled “Cocoon” between November 16-26 in a collaboration with Galeri Nev and Tarabya Culture Academy.

Designed as a video performance, the work revolves around the cocoon woven by Mehtap Baydu around her naked body, using shirts that belong to thirty-three men with whom she’s interacted as part of daily life experiences. Baydu first took photographs of the owners of these shirts and then based herself at the empty venue of documenta-Halle in Kassel, Germany in order to weave herself a cocoon with the strips made from these shirts. The performance, which took place without an audience for eighteen days, is witnessed by the video recorded by M. Uwe Kroll and Christoph Neugebauer, the photograph taken by the artist herself, and her cocoon.

“Our friends and acquaintances, besides our families, bear central importance for our position in this world. Mehtap Baydu takes pictures of men (friends, acquaintances, colleagues, friends from school, the owner of the kisk where she frequently shops, etc.) who have had a big influence on her life between 2014 and 2015. All men in these photographs can strike a pose of their own choosing; however, they have to give the shirt they’re wearing in the pictures to the artist. Baydu cuts these shirts into long stripes, ties them into a ball, and weaves a cocoon around herself with knitting needles.”

Barbara Heinrich


Mehtap Baydu was born in Bingöl, Turkey. She studied sculpture at Hacettepe University in Ankara and the Kunsthochschule Kassel under Prof. Dorothee von Windheim. Following completion she became master student under Prof. von Windheim. Mehtap Baydu lives and works in Berlin.

Mehtap Baydu’s performances and installations have become known internationally. Her works explore gender roles and sensitive religious and political themes in multicultural contexts. She incorporates the audience into her performances and challenges it using symbolic objects and situations. She uses sculpture and photography as media in addition to performance and installation, to best express and convey her artistic concerns.   

(Selected Prizes and Stipends)

Art Prize of the Städtische Galerie Nordhorn. 2021, Research stipend, Berlin Senate 2021, Stipend, Kulturakademie Tarabya 2020, Support grant, “Derık” Project, Badischer Kunstverein 2018, Support grant, “Kasseler Kunstpreis – Dr. Wolfgang Zippel-Stiftung“ Kassel, 2011 , UPK Art Prize 2011, Stipend, Otto Braun Foundation, Kassel University, Kassel 2009-2010, Stipend for foreign students, Kassel University, 2009

(Selected Solo- and Group Exhibitions)

Baydu’s works have been displayed e.g. in:, “I Am Nobody. Are You Nobody Too?” Meşher Istanbul, “Durchlässigkeit” Galerie Nordhorn 2022 (solo), “Empowerment” Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg 2022, “Der Wald war noch Nackt” Galerie Nev Ankara 2022, (solo), “MITbeSTIMMEn” Galerie Nord, Berlin 2022, Global Artfestival,Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg 2021, “Studio Bosporus” Festival, Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin 2021, “A Time to Embrace and to Refrain from Embracing“ Ural Biennale, Yekaterinburg 2021, “State and Nature” Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden 2021 , “Alone Together” STUK, Leuven 2019– 2020, “Words Are Very Unnecessary” Arter, Istanbul 2019–2020 , “Cuma“ Edition Block, Berlin 2018 (solo), “Derık“ Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe 2018 (solo) , “Dialoge” London Art Fair 2018 (Solo) , “Kiss” Bröhan-Museum, Berlin 2017, “Ğ – queere Formen wandern” Schwules Museum Berlin, 2017, “Identity Relations“ kjubh e.V, Cologne 2017 (solo), “Diese Sehnsucht gehört uns!” Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu (CoCA), Torun 2016 , “Mythologien” 3. Mardin Biennale 2015, “Die unbeantwortete Frage“,Iskele 2, SCHWANENGESANG / Swan Song, Berlin 2013 and “Spaziergang” Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 2009.