Site Occupied

Site Occupied, 2011

Installation view

Alpha Gallery, Newtown

Site Occupied is a large-scale installation from Sydney based artist Cigdem Aydemir. For this exhibition, the gallery floor space is covered/colonised by the niqab (an Islamic garment) confronting the viewer and exploring themes of body politics, feminism and Islamophobia.

On approaching the gallery, visitors are met with a sea of black fabric culminating to the body of a woman wearing the niqab. As the hemline of her garment stretches to fill and occupy the space, the entrance to the gallery is obstructed and visitors are left to only look in from the outside.

Drawing on Guillermo Gomez-Pena's notion of bodies as occupied territories, Aydemir uses the gallery floor space as a metaphor for the site of the body. Just as Muslim women's personal choices around what they wear are scrutinised, and often restricted, controlled, and managed by fear driven societies, so is the visitor's access to the gallery space.

Site Occupied