:mentalKLINIK is an artist duo from Istanbul composed of Yasemin Baydar (B.1972, İstanbul) and Birol Demir (B.1967, Ankara) who began their collaborative works in 1998, forming an open laboratory to reconsider process, production and presentation. Their studio has functioned as a space for dialogue and they enrich their process by engaging other artists and professionals in fields ranging from chemistry to industrial engineering.
The collaborative resist the limitations posed by a singular vocabulary or style and craft material and digital technologies into works that seem to belong to anticipated aesthetics. Their works range from immersive time based works and installations to sculptures and objects that thwart categorization. Publications often accompany projects to reflect their interactive process, and include a form of documentation seeking to explore concepts and contexts pertaining to emotions, behaviour, viewpoints and senses.
Their work also engages the public in live and embodied installations. Terribly Jolly (Istanbul, 2013) for example is a pop-up dance club contained within a small red curtained room that begins at nine am and lasts just thirty minutes, folding together the time of work and leisure to cut short any possibility of shared pleasure. By contrast FRESHCUT (Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, 2013) invites the audience to cut and arrange a massive installation of flowers, transforming them into actors in an augmented cinematic reality.
Throughout their works they bring to light invisible politics and social dynamics that define our everyday lives.
By uncoupling materials from everyday life, they create new aesthetic forms with materials like anti-reflective film, thermopane, digital sculpting, robotics which reveal the awkward, alien and uncanny into the exhibition space, forcing viewers to question their own material surroundings.
:mentalKLINIK’s experimental approach has been praised on numerous occasions, and include a performative dinner titled MAGMAONTHEMOUNTAIN (Istanbul Modern, 2013) and Give Joel a Gift, You Will Be Gifted (Madagascar, 2007). They have participated in numerous international exhibitions including Istanbul Modern-Rotterdam at Boijmans van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam, 2012); Izmir Triennial of Contemporary Art (Istanbul, 2010); and Tomorrow, Now (MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2007). They have had two major solo shows at Galerist, Istanbul titled That’s Fucking Awesome curated by Jerome Sans (2011) and rABBIThOLE (2009).