Text: Dr. Helen Adkins

Miray Seramet (*1971 Krefeld) is of German-Turkish origin; she has studied textile design and goes to classical dance classes. These elements are central themes to the artist. The desire to express her double identity in relation to her own body is addressed in textile objects, images, photographs and projections. Seramet considers thread, fabrics, and clothing to be symbols of gender roles but also of her own identity between Turkish tradition and modern German fashion consciousness. The knitting machine is her tool for the connection between mason’s cord and nylons, an allegorical entanglement between man and woman. In Den 20 she combines flesh-coloured nylons, a second female skin, more beautiful, decent and more erotic than naked skin with strong, colourful, and rough mason’s cord. Astonishingly, the seemingly fragile nylons don’t tear, and poetical collections come together, fired by a background concept interlaced with extravagant fashion creations.

Nylons, mounted on large canvases, stowed away in sample boxes, or presented on the wall as soft objects, are omnipresent. The nylons are tested as to their strength and their stretch qualities; their worn or unworn shape is exemplified, or they are collaged. A particular colour may be highlighted, they are filled with lambswool and fashioned into breast-penises and vulva-buds. Gretchen in der Stube [Little Grete in the Living Room] consists of a series of androgynous sexual body parts, a hybrid between sexshop accessory and soft toy. Soft and Strong is a photographic work in which the nylons, photographed by the artist on her own legs, have strangely coloured fluffy additions of erotic connotation that would seem to originate from a performance. The general focus of this humorous work is on the theme of love.

Seramet writes: “Sewing, embroidering, knitting, and felt-making are crafts that symbolically stand in the close tradition of Turkish dowry for future brides…. My collections are a humorous hint at the difference between man and woman, the absurdity of societal norms of a division by gender. My work confronts open sexuality with sexuality concealed under a veil.”