Kara comes from a shamanic family line in Turkey. Much of her work is, in one way or another, channeling this heritage, and is based in an understanding that “knowledge is ultimately produced through rituals and oral histories,” said Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, director of Witte de With.
The artist engages in her own forms of myth-making, via oil-stick murals and paintings of elastic figures that are surrounded by (and nearly inseparable from) illumination-like patterns in a minimal palette of cool blues and pastels. Sometimes, she combines them with installations of hanging façades with ornamental borders redolent of Islamic doorways. But it’s not just imaginary human subjects and architectures that populate Kara’s oeuvre; she has a penchant for representing animals, too—in the form of carved wooden sculptures of dogs, or armadillos decorated with ornamentation and stacked atop one another in idiosyncratic formation.