DECISIVE MOMENTS IN HISTORY | OLGU ÜLKENCİLER
“Decisive Moments in History”, Olgu Ülkenciler’s fifth solo exhibition will take place at Art On Istanbul 8 May-9 June 2018.
The exhibition “Decisive Moments in History” shares its name with a book of short essays by Stefan Zweig. Taking the book as a point of reference, the artist forms a narrative based upon the touchstone incidents and figures who have turned the wheel of history towards revolution. With the incidents and figures she has chosen, the artist opens up a bright window on the history of humanity: In her work, she addresses historical moments such as man’s first encounter with space and the French Revolution which paved the way for the Enlightenment; or with such seminal figures as Shostakovich, who refused to leave his country during the Second World War and composed the Leningrad Symphony.
In her series, the artist transforms the plastic and aesthetic techniques that correspond to the subject matter she is dealing with. She forms her compositions by making use of figural abstractions, typographic elements, ornamental motifs and propaganda poster designs. Aside from the silver and gold that illuminate the figures, she applies dark tones, cold blues, earth colors and bright lines to bring the related Zeitgeist into the forefront.
Ever since her first solo exhibition, Olgu Ülkenciler has focused on the established order and the subject trying to transform himself/herself; the transformation undergone by the masses and the idea of the individual at the heart of this sweeping transformation. In her exhibition “Decisive Moments in History”, the artist once again brings humanity into the forefront, as a critical response to our present world where pessimism reigns supreme. In an age when the transformative power of the individual has been played down and the dignity of humanity has been debased, Ülkenciler once again lays stress on the “human”, sounding a note of hope.
Olgu Ülkenciler, (1981, İstanbul) received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Yeditepe University. In her early work, the artist confronted questions of adulthood, femininity, sexuality, urban life and individuality. After 2007, panoramas of modern everyday life – filtered through social critique – began to permeate her work. After choosing an intellectual basis for her serial work, the artist determines an aesthetic tone to support the chosen basis. Her paintings – which she enriches with geometric elements, motifs and graphical components such as typography – are developed with colouring and certain technical adaptations in line with the critical thinking they serve. In recent years, the artist has been addressing questions on “reconstruction” and “humanity”, dealing with the end of “dehumanizing” postmodernist narratives via the concepts of “reconstruction” and “new humanity”. Apart from her four solo exhibitions entitled “Zevkli Rezalet” (2013), “Das Fenomen” (2011), “Ev Kızı” (2009), “Made in Ülkenciler (2006) her works have appeared in many national and international group exhibitions. The artist lives and works in Istanbul.