Pieces of the Fish


11.05 - 11.06.2024

Pieces of the Fish narrates a fragmented and reassembled presentation of a meta-narrative.

The crowded dinner scene that greets us reminds us of the painting, The Last Supper, but the similarities end as we begin to delve into the details. While The Last Supper heralds betrayal, Pieces of the Fish shows us the guests striving to obtain the largest piece, the effort to compete, adapt to survive, detach from one’s own spontaneity and values, and the endeavor to claim a share from the desired object of the majority.

In the center of the painting, we see Moloch portrayed as a green, cute giant. Moloch, a mythological figure, a pagan god, was a dark force believed to require child sacrifices for abundance and prosperity in the times when people believed in him. Today, in the context of game theory, Moloch signifies Multi-Polar Traps.

In this context, we can define Moloch as a force that encourages individuals to sacrifice their values to gain and sustain existence in a competitive system. All actions and incentives done solely for the sake of winning can be considered in the context of Moloch. Ultimately, even if it results in the destruction of larger ecosystems and, consequently, the destruction of competing individuals, none of us are independent of the wheels of the Moloch system. At the end of the day, just to be able to demonstrate existence and continue to survive, we find ourselves obligated to be a part of that wheel. Completely getting rid of Moloch is almost impossible because, as individuals, we need to stand against this system that operates globally. If even one person continues, this wheel quickly regains dominance with all its might. Considering the human condition, even hoping for this seems like a grand illusion.

Pieces of the Fish does not offer a solution to defeat the Moloch monster; it simply shows us the existence of this theoretical power, presents it to our awareness. It creates a narrative by believing that the power of the named monster will largely decrease. It encourages us to see the small fish around the big fish, which is raced to be shared, in the dinner scene. By taking us outside the frame, it leads us to the personal journeys of the individuals in the painting, including the fish being eaten on the table, and brings these narratives together again in the dinner scene.

When describing the monster, Moloch, the artist prefers a cute depiction instead of a monstrous, fearsome visual. This horrific monster convinces us of its existence manifesting itself so deeply within us that we are unaware of its monstrous existence and harms.

Choosing myths and symbols to create its narrative, the artist Baysan Yüksel invites us to awareness in Pieces of the Fish exhibition. She offers us a layered narrative in the journey of recognizing and understanding the biggest monster hidden within us.

Baysan Yüksel

Born in 1984, Baysan Yüksel graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University, Department of Sociology in 2007 and completed his master's degree at Marmara University, Department of Painting in 2010. She has been participating in exhibitions at home and abroad since 2006 and continues her work in her workshop in Istanbul.

The artist, who produces interdisciplinary works by questioning concepts such as routines, beliefs, traditions and consumer culture, prefers to use dreams and universal symbols as indicators since they point to the collective subconscious. In this context, she defines her works as storytelling. Some of the disciplines she prefers are painting, drawing, collage, three-dimensional objects, artist books, video, installation and writing. All kinds of surfaces; She sees canvas, paper, walls or found objects as tools to convey these stories she collects from within herself and the outside world.

Her recent works consist of paintings and three-dimensional assemblages resembling sequences from dark fairy tales, in which she intensely uses snake and octopus symbols, which are projections of individual and social confrontations.