The audiovisual work Being strong is hard by Leyla Yenirce (*1992) is a sequence of images documenting women in the moment of resistance. This rapid successive montage of images was created from the extensive archive material of the musician, author, and artist. This image archive feeds on images taken with various digital devices (cell phone camera, web camera) or found on the Internet (social media, websites, Google). From this, on a metaphorical level, a kind of machine was developed that continuously produces, permanently rotates and thereby (re-)produces new images every second. In collaboration with the artist Kuno Seltmann, a video cut has been made from this personal archive based on the idea of an image carousel, or rather an image machine.
Being strong is hard begins with a harmonic, calm melody, which is interrupted after about one and a half minutes by raw, hard and tension-building techno beats. Its image material offers a broad and open frame of reference: pixelated landscapes, animated phoenixes and oil paintings are replaced by short, fast sequences of images showing different Kurdish women carrying guns, activists, freedom fighters and journalists. Heavy bass sounds recall the noise and shots of machine guns, while recurring screams remind us of war and moments of resistance. On both sonic and visual levels, Being strong is hard shows figurations of resistance against military, media and cultural structures of dominance. Not only reflecting concepts of resistance, solidarity and internationalism, the work also questions their mediation and the way certain forms of representation bestow specific meanings themselves.
Leyla Yenirce was born in 1992 in Qubîn, Kurdistan, and has been studying fine arts at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts since 2016 with Prof. Jutta Koether, Prof. Angela Schanelec and Prof. Simon Denny. In addition to numerous scholarships and prizes, including the Federal Prize for Art Students, Bonn (2021), the Playground Art Prize, Nuremberg (2021) and the Hamburg Music Prize (2019), Yenirce has been part of various group exhibitions, including Kein Schlussstrich Festival, Kampnagel, Hamburg (2021), Paradise, Kurdish Film Festival, Berlin (2020) and Hi Ventilation, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg.