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Sauna Experience Phase 1 

Duration: 15 minutes 

Date: 25.02.2021


The Sauna Opens On February 25 As An Online Experience


Ahmet Rustem Ekici continues his series in which he analyzes the relationships related to body and architecture. Ahmet Rustem, who led his audience to a new space experience with “Sauna” after the “Hammam” series, which is a 2019 augmented reality exhibition, has created an online experience that lasts approximately 12 minutes about to the relationship between queer culture and sauna. 


Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Ateş Alpar, BeraberCo- Cihan Bacak, İsmet Köroğlu, Berkin Gülten, Chorus Of Body, Ece Cangüden, Fırat Uran, Hakan Sorar, Hossein Edalatkhah, Mert Çağıl Türkay, Muhittincan, Numan Okutan, Selin Göksel, Şafak Şule Kemancı accompany İlker Cihan Biner's exhibition text on the Sauna walls. 


The first phase of the sauna series, which will be exhibited in 2 stages, will be exhibited online. The exhibition, consisting of 21 different areas and also experienced as 360-aspect artificial reality, will be simultaneously published on Art50net and Aredeko sites on February 25, 2021.


Ahmet Rustem's artificial sauna has works of 15 artists presented on the walls, such as artworks, murals paintings, amendments seen on the walls of a gay sauna that actually exists. The exhibition, which analyzes the architecture of the sauna and its relationship sites, is toured with a guiding sound. Ahmet Rustem, who set the exhibition by looking at dozens of different saunas he experienced, bases on the objects of desire of space fiction and gay sauna websites in the Sauna series that he has rebuilt artificially. 


The sauna exhibition, experienced with computers, phones, tablets and VR glasses, consists of sections such as Entrance, Dressing room, Wet Areas, Sauna, Steam Room, Dark Rooms. 


Preview link of the exhibition, which will be published simultaneously on Art50net and Aredeko on February 25


İlker Cihan Biner


" In my secret garden, I'm looking for the perfect flower"

 Secret Garden/Erotica



Going away, leaving and escaping does not actually supposed to mean giving up from this world. It does not correspond to mean in quest of a shelter as well.

Sometimes want to get away from everything that makes you rooted, isolated and immobilized without a backward glance. Although this situation is not facile, it also contains a lot of troubles.

The question of " Where will I go?" is sorrowful. But as the heteronormative shells surround your body intensify, and suddenly it becomes inevitable to escape from the dark pit called patriarchal society. Intension of sexual desires and desire to touch others begin to fray out the shell.

Escaping opens doors. It impowers your breath. However, the way is long, struggle is multi-layered. Where and how to escape is vital.


Some saunas hide in various places of city can be called escaping locations.  These locations where bodies are coalesced into another and physical contacts are intensified turn into spaces which go beyond binary gender domination, rooting and becoming immobilized breakable.

The fact that Ahmet Rüstem Ekici continued with the Sauna after Hammam exhibition points to the possibility that these places can build queer worlds.

The concept of mystery shine out in the space that the artist has digitally created. But this concept does not always mean blurry, vision-based, exotic forms.

There are many sections such as Locker Room, Steam Room, Wet areas in the digital space. The concept of mystery highlights integrity/collectivity. In this respect, Sauna is an interaction location. Contact in a dark room, sexual desires that appear on wet surfaces? Body fancies in the steam room make the experience of many queers visible.

This digital work by Ahmet Rüstem Ekici has another meaning.

When you physically enter a Sauna, you can touch the walls, smell the air of atmosphere or abandon yourself to many more experiences.

Unfortunately, there is no such feasibility in digital platform. Then why does the artist engage in this fiction?

The Sauna exhibition meets at the intersection of what is material and what is not. So, in a sense, we have the opportunity to fully examine and analyze this digital space, while at the same time witnessing queer sexual experiences. As a matter of fact, the artist creates a new form of memory by recording the traces of many sexual practices that have been ignored, ejected, tried to be suppressed in this space. The field, with paintings/drawings and photographs from eight different artists on the walls, marks a completely fluctuating, non-linear art democracy. This democratic form opens the door to the emergence of Sauna work in the line of queer being a concept that sheers away and going beyond the ordinary concept… Along with this method developed by the artist, we can always talk about crossing the border for places that open the door to Lgbtiq+ individuals that do not consist only of sexual experiences of cis-gays. In this way, Ahmet Rustem Ekici's effort to stay away from representation while creating a place of memory shows a struggle, but carries the power to be inclusive.




Finally, after hammam exhibition, The Artist's visual storytelling continues with the Sauna. Now let's end with a poem by Lale Müldür about the impact of these works;


 "Oh I’m going to somewhere I don't know

 Somewhere you never know


 Am I going there willingly?

You are tracing me or not?


My makeup is flying out of my eyes

 A strong wind blows


 My dresses are flying

 The snow begins to falling


 Oh, I’m going to somewhere I don't know

 Somewhere you never know."


Magnetic excitation

Yapı Kredi Yayınları

Lale Müldür

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