IPDAL, 2010

IPDAL, 2010, archival C-print, 154×120 cm each

The first striking note of the show is the abundance of red X’s crossing out seemingly innocuous images, be it censorship or the artist’s personal ire. As it turns out, IPDAL(2010) is a series in which Avşar employs these odd postcards rescued from a printer’s collection found in Istanbul. From over 20,000 postcards produced between the late 1960s and 1990s, Avşar chose to enlarge and exhibit those that were marked by the word IPDAL, Turkish for “cancelled.” On his website, the artist explains that this particular form of censorship was executed by the military government in the 1980s in an effort to eradicate anything that did not fit into its vision of Turkey. Included in these “cancelled” images are soldiers in overtly staged romantic poses with women. The dates on the images indicate that they were all “cancelled” on the same day in 1983, highlighting the swift character of the censorship. The artist’s decision to enlarge these postcards reads as both a formal and political gesture…

Merve Ünsal