artist: Adel Abidin
venue: Zilberman Gallery
coordinates: Istanbul, 2011
Ping Pong is based on a fragment from a match between two dominating, strapping players who play fast, aggressive and offensive table-tennis. It seems to be an exciting game, even for the referee. However, a young beautiful woman takes the role of the net. Every hit appears as a bruise on her skin; yet, she bears the physical pain and suffers stoically.
By conceptualising the role and power of the performers, Ping Pong is a work which retains symbolism in every detail. Nevertheless, this symbolism operates on an arbitrary level. Abidin has stated that as an artist the leaves the interpretation of his work to the viewer. Hence, Ping Pong could be read from various angles and viewpoints including gender-politics, geo-politics or even bio-politics. The work oscillates between opposite poles and challenges the viewers by including them in this tidal situation. While observing this beautifully filmed brutality, the viewer becomes both the witness and the accomplice of this action.
The exhibition Ping Pong is accompanied by a bilingual (English and Turkish) book, edited by Basak Senova, including text by Mikko Oranen, Marion Guilmot, and Lauri Nykopp, and an interview/text with Adel Abidin by Basak Senova.