Part Whole | Ahmet Elhan, Gülsün Karamustafa, Ülgen Semerci, Mithat Şen, Burcu Yağcıoğlu, Ekrem Yalçındağ, Begüm Yamanlar

29.03.2018 / 29.04.2018 | Press Relase

Art On Istanbul is honored to announce an annual thematic exhibition in its gallery program. The first of these exhibitions is a group exhibition entitled “Part Whole.” This exhibition, which will feature examples of the recent works of several artists, is meant to bring into question, through these works, the aesthetic principles based on which the relationship between the part and the whole is constructed in artworks. The book of the exhibition not only includes photographs of the works making up the exhibition, but also offers a wider perspective in that it includes the photographs of a selection of the past works of the artists taking part in the exhibition. “Part Whole,” which will feature the works of Ahmet Elhan, Gülsün Karamustafa, Ülgen Semerci, Mithat Şen, Burcu Yağcıoğlu, Ekrem Yalçındağ and Begüm Yamanlar will be on view between 29 March and 29 April 2018 at Art On Istanbul.

The relationship between the part and the whole in the art practices of all artists featured in this exhibition, have been constructed in a similar manner, even though the time and mediums of their artistic practices vary greatly. This certain relationship between the part and the whole which is inherent in the artwork itself, tends to reflect and go along with the artist’s world view.

Gülsün Karamustafa’s work consisting of 11 pieces belongs to her series “Promised Paintings,” which was previously exhibited at Europale. As a whole, these pieces create the form of an altar, and yet each of them can be acquired separately. When one of these 11 pieces is taken away from the composition, the artist makes a new one in its stead. In this fashion, that is, by allowing for a variable, free, flexible, dynamic, and infinite composition, Karamustafa intends to tear the indivisible sanctity of the artwork to pieces.

Another work, where parts complement one another by changing places within a system is Mithat Şen’s “Body Series III,” created by the artist in 1996. This work, designed as a 12-piece postcard sequence, assigns its viewers the role of owning and completing it. “Body Series III” has been recreated by the artist in a different medium after 22 years for the “Part Whole” exhibition: Mithat Şen, who has broken his idiosyncratic schema into pieces and reunited them using 3-layered colors, thus appears before his viewers with a new form.

Ahmet Elhan’s work entitled “Notes from the Overground” is a series that has, in the artist’s own words, liberated his process of production. The series consists of parts of randomly taken photos that have been brought together by the artist in compositions consisting of 12 photos to the end of creating abstract forms. These fragments, which help the artist disburden his daily image memory and, in a sense, his channels of production function as his sketchbook.

Burcu Yağcıoğlu creates collages through the combination of sketches and found images, and makes the empty space created by the surface of the paper, where the collages meet, function as a part of the whole. In her work that will be on display for the first time as part of the “Part Whole” exhibition focuses on the keystone and its ability to bear the weight of a structure in the absence of an architectural support.

Begüm Yamanlar creates her video art by sequencing together frames based on the idea of process, intending to let her viewers have an inkling of a whole that is impossible to attain. This exhibited video of Yamanlar focuses on the conceptual and historical transformation of a symbolic and iconic architectural building, Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM), consisted of photographic images.

Ekrem Yalçındağ, who reconstructs his idiosyncratic motifs in a ritual-like process, takes part in the “Part Whole” exhibition with his work entitled “Self-Portrait 1,” which stands as the first example in Yalcindağ’s oeuvre, of a portrait consisted of the artist’s signature motifs. In his paintings, where fragments do not refer to anything else other than themselves and the greater whole that they belong to, Yalçındağ underscores that all of his paintings constitute a whole, of which he is also part, thanks to the infiniteness of the motif.

Ülgen Semerci turns found images that she collects during the process of production, the photographs that she herself takes as well as sketches and paintings into an alphabet. And using this alphabet, she coins new words in her works, and sometimes even formulates sentences in the form of polyptychs by combining these words. The artist, who draws on nature’s deviations and its principles concerning the transformation of things in the course of time, questions the relationship between parts and the whole in art based on nature’s way of reproducing itself.