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Turkish feminist artist takes on Mount Qaf

An exhibition in Istanbul by the Turkish artist CANAN defies gender stereotypes and sexual taboos, marrying the personal with the political.

Walking into Turkish artist CANAN’s solo exhibition at Istanbul’s Arter Gallery is like entering a surreal, supernatural and fervently feminist world.

“Behind Mount Qaf,” the sprawling exhibition — which runs through Feb. 18 — of two decades of CANAN’s paintings, photographs, videos, sculptures and more, takes its name from the cosmic mountain of Persian and Arab legend, luring viewers into the familiar realm of allegory before the artist surreptitiously merges the personal, including the use of her own body, with the political.

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