Artist(s): COLLECTIVE TURKISH ART: ASLI TORCU, AYŞEGÜL SAĞBAŞ , BURÇAK BİNGÖL , ÇINAR ESLEK , ELIF VAROL ERGEN , EŞREF YILDIRIM , FIRAT NEZİROĞLU , FUNDA ALKAN , GÖKÇE ER, GÜLİN HAYAT TOPDEMİR , LEVENT MORGÖK, MEHMET ALI UYSAL, NAZLI EDA NOYAN, NEJAT SATI ,ONUR GÜLFİDAN, ÖZGÜR KORKMAZGİL , ÖZLEM ŞİMŞEK , VOLKAN ASLAN , ZEYNEP KAYAN, ZEREN GÖKTAN
F I G U R E O U T - CONTEMPORARY TURKISH ART
Figure out starts from the self. Questions and answers that arise within life constitute the complicated equation of existence for each of us individually. The only way to come to terms with this peculiar equation is an ultimate confrontation with the self as well as with the surroundings. The bi-directional flow of this confrontational state, which starts from the center of the self, spreading to the environment and immediately returning back to itself, forms the backbone of arts, an elegant means of understanding the world and of defining new meanings.
In a time, when decade-old governments are being overthrown; assumingly resistant economies are shaken to the foundation; and unexpected voices are occupying the streets, we are all simultaneously experiencing a historical shift on a global scale. Artistic tools and methods serve for achieving the purpose, and there is no doubt that they will emerge as the remarkable results of this cataclysmic confrontation.
Turkey, as a young republic, amidst breathtaking unrest in her east and west, is literally a bridge between Asia and Europe with a heavy inheritance from the Ottoman Empire. While the dynamic social structure impregnated by many different cultures harbored in addition to the Mediterranean spirit creates a hybrid, high-blood-pressured mixture with a skill of being highly adaptive, this social texture, in turn, provides a prolific inspirational space with abundance for the artists.
It would not be wrong to state that the fine arts production has started in Turkey in the 19th century by following the West. The Renaissance, places the human being in the center of every possible discipline of study; arts takes the figure as its focal subject and it examines by fragmenting it into its different aspects from appearance to the spiritual and psychological projections through various styles. Unlike the west, Ottoman couldn't adopt this approach then due to the dominant Islamic culture, which did not allow depicting humans in artwork fearing that idolatry would be resurrected. It is due to this that it was as late as 1906 when art classes with live models started to take place.
Throughout the 20th century, Turkish art not only followed the west but also found its way to figure out all challenging issues finding its own voice. Despite the obstacles like a military coup as well as tumultuous political and economical instabilities; arts somehow found its path to stream and convey itself to the future. Globalization as well as technological progress was in full effect on culture therefore arts have become even more intense on discovering its own character in the 90’s. Beyond being an artistically fine production, it started to question various issues from identity to history; and from westernization to migration to establish a base for some existential issues through various media and artistic methods.
Rather than a whole made up of mixed approaches and mediums, this exhibition at Artsawa takes figure as its baseline. The figures and narratives from their own world are not just subsequent self-reflections to come to terms with life, they also portrait conditions of being alive in a certain time and place.
It is constituted of the art works of 19 artists, many of whom are from Istanbul, which is the center of a very cosmopolitan structure.
The selected works of Funda Alkan, Volkan Arslan, Burçak Bingöl, Gökçe Er, Çınar Eslek, Elif Varol Ergen, Zeren Göktan, Onur Gülfidan, Zeynep Kayan, Özgür Korkmazgil, Levent Morgök, Fırat Neziroğlu, Nazlı Eda Noyan, Ayşegül Sağbaş, Nejat Satı, Özlem Şimşek, Gülin Hayat Topdemir, Aslı Torcu, Mehmet Ali Uysal, Eşref Yıldırım confront the world they perceive through figures.
Onur Gülfidan, Volkan Aslan, Nazlı Eda Noyan with the works they have structured referencing recent history and powered by the agenda of the government; Mehmet Ali Uysal, Fırat Neziroğlu, Levent Morgök, Özgür Korkmazgil with their realistic figurative starting points, they interpret and dissociate the content into different layers with the diverse materials they utilize; Zeynep Kayan and Burçak Bingöl, with alternative definitions of "the self" they offer, using photographic works based on self-image, Gülin Hayat Topdemir, Ayşegül Sağbaş, Elif Varol Ergen, Gökçe Er, Nejat Satı, Aslı Torcu with their fantastic, magical, and mysterious atmospheres; Özlem Şimşek, Eşref Yıldırım, Funda Alkan; with the historical figure interpretations through various mediums such as video, paintings and sewing; Çınar Eslek probing the concept of time coming with life by getting to the core of creation itself; Zeren Göktan bringing together the parts of a series of photographic moments meticulously collected to solve the mystery of life; are all contributors to this unique exhibition with their selected works.