October 22, 2007

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Tulu Bayar, assistant professor of art at Bucknell University, gave the talk, "Portraits: Reflections on the Veil," at the opening of her current exhibition at Belfast Exposed Photography in Northern Ireland.

"The exhibition, Portraits: Reflection on the Veil, challenges stereotypes and opens discussion about how visual art can engage with personal concerns about veiling for both the artists and subjects, for those who (sometimes or always) wear one, and for those who observe," said Bayar, who worked with fellow artist Jane Brettle on the exhibition.

"The title of this exhibition summons up the tensions that characterise any discussion of the Islamic veil and the misapprehensions that descend on the women who wear it," writes Reina Lewis in the exhibition catalog. "Reflections suggest a form of contemplation and consideration that is often difficult to achieve in current cultural and political discussions, especially when trying to talk about Islam in the UK."


Bayar's work in the exhibition, "Confluence," is a video work presenting a slow motion sequence of two women looking towards the viewer but who also appear to be gazing at themselves, as if in a mirror, whilst they arrange and remove scarves over their hair. Gradually the women replace their headscarves with wigs. Reina Lewis remarks on how "Confluence" links 'Islamic veiling to other forms of head covering (such as the wigs worn by ultra-orthodox Jewish women) and invokes a recently developed strategy of Muslim wig-wearing by religious students in Turkey where the secular state bans veiling on university premises.'

Brettle is an Edinburgh-based artist and associate senior lecturer in contemporary photographic practice at the University of Northumbria.

The exhibit opening included a panel discussion with Bayar and Brettle as well as Reina Lewis, Artscom Centenary Professor in Fashion Studies at the London College of Fashion; Tara Butt and Nasim Azad, Pakeeza Women's Group in Edinburgh; and Catherine Moustafa, Belfast Islamic Centre. The exhibit continues through Nov. 7.

For more information, see http://www.belfastexposed.org/.

Bayar, who joined the Bucknell faculty in 2002, was born and raised in Turkey. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues in the United States and Europe including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; 825 Gallery in Los Angeles; Artemisia Gallery in Chicago; Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art in Istanbul; Camac Centre D'art in France; Galerie Image in Denmark; D-21 in Germany; and Ankara Photographic Arts Center. She has received various artist-in-residency grants, most notably from the Camac Centre D'art funded by Tenot Foundation in France and the Center for Photography at Woodstock funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Oct. 22, 2007