top of page
Logo Simone photo saint germain.png

Nil Yalter :

the counter-visuality of images

Nil Yalter, La femme sans tête, 1974, © Nil Yalter/Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès

Exhibited at the Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès, the Turkish visual artist Nil Yalter imposes a new vision of women, marked by the events of May 68 in Paris. She joined a group of feminist artists and used her work to demand women's independence. In 1974, she produced her first video performance, The headless woman or the belly dance, in which she filmed herself performing an oriental dance during which she inscribed on her belly a text by René Nelli taken from Erotique et civilisation. She tries body writing with her hand, revealing a text that condemns female circumcision and celebrates clitoral pleasure to the rhythm of oriental music.

Nil Yalter, The headless woman, 1974, © Nil Yalter/Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès

All the ideological, biological, social, aesthetic and political elements of an era contribute to the encoding of a dominant visuality. The gaze formed by this visuality is neither innate nor spontaneous. Nil Yalter's images are constructed in such a way as to circumvent and subvert this stereotyping and invisibilisation. This reconfiguration of images is what visual culture theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff describes as counter-visuality. What has been socially and politically sealed in the visuality of domination must be unfolded and redeployed in a new field of emancipatory visual meaning. 

Nil Yalter's anti-establishment artworks presented at the Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès address the domination of women and the relegation of immigrants.

Edouard Glissant's words describe the ideal relation with these artworks: "We are not merely straddling the distance from one language to another, we are entering into the mystery of a multi-relation where all the languages of the world, visible or secret, trace out for us multiplied paths that are in reality the echoes of multiplicity". S.A.  Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès

bottom of page