“Why are you being so rough on me?”

from the poem “Medusa,”by Patricia Smith, 1955

Innovation and experimentation
unstable times.
We are looking for unprecedented ways to voice our minds.
internal conflict-
I am mentally there,
but I feel physically here.


Melis Bürsin works with video, print, and photography. Her videos fuse together immediate influences of media culture with mythology in order to unveil the paradoxes between knowledge and experience—what we choose to preserve and what we purposefully choose to repress. Reality is now measured in the telepathic waves of the internet, combining feelings of interconnectedness with nostalgia. Somewhere between the real and the fantastical, your mind deceives you into feeling connected, while your body is detached, thereby creating a ‘phantom limb’ effect. It is in this internal conflict between the mind and the body, the psychosomatic, where technology embraces the remixed melodramatic images of women—on a constant repeat of icons, who are just like us, yet simultaneously unlike any other.

The title of the exhibition, Why are you being so rough on me?, comes  from the poem “Medusa,”by Patricia Smith. The title searches the answer to the question of sexuality not only as a manipulation of media structures, but also as a self-imposed control—in the way we symbolize ourselves through our ‘technological stage presence’. The video in the exhibition depicts young girls idolized, through a music video platform, personifying the goddess Medusa: Poseidon’s lust becoming Athena’s wrath, she is Versace’s rapping gold, re-voiced from the cliffs of Raouchéin Beirut; where forbidden lovers once plunged to their death into a sea of despair.

The exhibition also contains a set of photographs ranging from desolate black and white landscapes with customized neon lights—alongside two unique Cibachrome prints of flowers. Portraits of sisters between moments of intimacy and àla mode structure the gallery walls; while a set of gold customized screen prints are used to trace the ornate object of Medusa’s head from the symbolic to the iconic.

Melis Bürsin (b. 1984,  Istanbul)  lives and works in multiple time zones. She studied Italian Art History at the University of Georgia’s program in Cortona, Italy. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2013.