Contemporary Istanbul 2016

03.11.2016 / 06.11.2016

Art On İstanbul is joining once again to the 11th edition of Contemporary Istanbul, which will take place between 3-6 November 2016. Among the represented artists, Hüseyin Aksoylu, Ahmet Çerkez, Erdal İnci, Ege Kanar, Olcay Kuş, Onur Mansız, Erman Özbaşaran, Nilhan Sesalan, Evren Sungur, Olgu Ülkenciler and Sencer Vardarman’s works are displayed in the exhibition. Among Art On İstanbul’s exhibited artists, Canan Dağdelen, Horasan and Ozan Türkkan will be also joining the exhibition with their selected works.

Art On İstanbul opens the season with the exhibition titled “The Face Is Everything”, which will be held between 8th of October and 19th of November 2016, involving Horasan’s fragmented figurative paintings that take the “face” as the center. The exhibition displays a 24-piece portrait installation, selected from his 20 years of production. In this exhibition, composed of Horasan’s works on paper surfaces and canvas together, the artist creates a theme from the representation of facial expressions, from which human emotions can be observed. In this context, the paper and canvas works that the artist brings together, creates “narratives” in which the facial expressions are at the center. Some of the works in this exhibition, which is held simultaneously with Contemporary Istanbul, can be seen in there as well.

In Ahmet Çerkez’s works, we may notice surfaces meeting the viewer in the purest and simplest form of expression. The figurative impressions on the surfaces point toward an expressionist structure which engages with the viewer, while exposing the freedom of the artist in his unique form of expression. The objects/beings on the impressions lose their original meaning (and their characteristics) and consequently become abstract objects.

In his works, Erman Özbaşaran questions the urban aesthetic resulting from urbanization. The demolition and reconstruction process of the city is reflected in his works via different mediums and shapes. The artist is usually inclined to work with mixed techniques that involve photography over canvas; thus, Seascape which is displayed in CI consists of a painting made by ink patterns inscribed upon hundreds of cigarette papers on a canvas. This work leaves the viewer face to face with a view of an artificial sea landscape.

Ahmet Çerkez and Erman Özbaşaran, who also share the same studio space, display their new work KER in CI. This work is added to the “Metabolite” series; the title KER comes from Turkish and Altaic mythologies and it usually depicts evil beings. This work forces the viewer to reflect on his/her inner world, while it also reminds one of a monumental structure which serves as a protective shield from the outside world. KER consists of new and scrap metals that are brought together with hot-cold iron forging process in order to be transformed into a new structure.

Olgu Ülkenciler’s series titled “Human Sceneries from My Hometown”, consists of mask-like portraits of individuals stuck between social and political disturbances which have been added to the daily life and have recently been significantly increasing. The abstract portraits of the artist represent individuals who are stuck between chaos and the perfect order. The complex mood and the expression in their eyes can be felt at first glance. They somehow seem to point towards the indispensable hope that is necessary for the healing of human beings. The artist, who enjoys experiencing different mediums in her works, produces this series with collage and acrylic paint on paper. While these works contain constructivist architectural elements through repetitive patterns, they also resemble the Art Deco theme by its colours and compositions.

Olcay Kuş continues focusing on the patriarchal hegemony upon the gestural and bodily language, fed by the media and society. In his latest series, the artist expresses this “bodily language” in a facetious manner by going through a theme inspired from sports programs and magazines. To convey his unique approach, Olcay Kuş works with both traditional materials and techniques like templates behind framed glass, canvas, collage, impression and patterns, and correlates directly with street art through the use of spray paint, stencil and templates.

Evren Sungur questions the nature, evolution, existence and civilization of the human being while focusing extensively on the human figure in his works. The artist usually depicts civilization by identifying time, space, shape and harmony of color with history, architecture, sculpture and painting via original compositions expressed through large scale paintings. He associates civilization with behavioral aspects of the human being, the double-character between reason and instinct; the gender relations that determine the social order; intergenerational competition and cultural/political past.

Hüseyin Aksoylu questions in his works, how people experience the meanings of their cumulative knowledge, through objects and scripted sceneries. Resembling digital illustrations, the main themes of Aksoylu’s works seem to be constituted of daily objects, while the stories of resurrection and collapse, mechanization, the routine that is brought about by mechanization and the motion differentiated from that routine are both manifested in perfect figures. The artist moves away from the “disappointment” and the “anxiety of making a mistake” stemming from this mechanism and thematizes instead his own “perceptions” and “renunciations”.

Onur Mansız carries forth his viewers once again into an emotional density, while exposing the inner and outer disturbances of the individual. The viewers are sent out to a voyage into their own realities, by the stares of individuals who are stuck between imagination and reality. In his compositions, the use of light and angular lighting adds a whole other layer of atmosphere, while the stain motifs reflected on the figures are made more explicit. These stains also cover the skin of the figures as a reflection of individuals’ inner struggles and psychological profundity.

In his works, Ege Kanar focuses on the ontological possibilities and meaning-producing methods within the medium of photography as well as the relation of photographic images to various concepts such as time, space, materiality, indexicality and memory. Kanar places the illusory transparency of these images as a point of departure for his personal practice. The artist works by referencing the way in which various centers of power use the conventions of photography; whether they arise from scientific disciplines such as astronomy, biology, archaeology or anthropology; or they arise from institutions such as family, state or government agencies. Within the small researches scripted by Ege Kanar, various materials such as biographical photographs, found or archival scenes, photo-objects, pieces of text, sound or video recordings are used to attempt to create a visual language which is interconnected, yet allowing a leap away.

Art On İstanbul becomes a part of the “Plugin” section, with Erdal İnci and Ozan Türkkan’s works.

Ozan Türkkan, whose work focuses on experimental media and digital art, joins Contemporary Istanbul 2016 with an interactive installation titled Fractal Memory which produces its own “dynamic” behaviour pattern by reacting to outer stimuli. The installation consists of LED lighting cords with a neuron-like shape and 19 nuclei which include 19 Arduinos that are installed into a crystal cube. The installation awakens as the viewer(s) touch the nucleus (or nuclei), consequently the interaction triggers a data flow. This flow randomly continues through each nucleus via the code processed by the Arduinos. In this way, the work becomes a living “independent” organism, and with the data flowing, a new composition of sound and light is produced at each instance.

Erdal İnci, who expresses himself in various mediums such as street art, photography, video and digital art, continues to produce works dealing with concepts such as motion, time, rhythm and repetition which become increasingly hypnotic. In his work titled Topkapı Palace, the artist turns hundreds of photographs belonging to the inner space and outer facades of this historical monument symbolizing power, from different angles into 3D digital models by using the technique of photogrammetry, also employed in fields like archaeology and architecture. İnci also applies a sun-light simulation upon the composition that he designed for the video he has compiled and in this way, he leaves the viewer face to face with an astounding and epic structure

Sencer Vardarman’s works consist of series which are the results of extensive research and archiving. The artist continues to work on the anthropocene in a series titled “Wounded Ground”, which involves open mines and the areas polluted by them. The works consist of digital collages of nearly a hundred-thousand near space photographs of mine pits, brought together by the artist. These photographs were compiled at the end of a research on mines classified as harmful to human beings both physically and socially. The artist presents the damages of environmental catastrophes upon the earth and the ecosystem via a “beautified” abstract-painting aesthetics.

Sculptor Nilhan Sesalan, who uses various materials like stone, wood, polyester and metal with mastery, has sculptures in various regions of the world; from Japan to Argentina or from India to Finland. While she produces her works defined as “abstract lyric”, sometimes the words that come to her mind resemble poetry and they accompany the sculpture. Her sophisticated style is inspired from all aspects of life and includes references to architecture, nature and history. Sesalan, who is preparing for her personal exhibition in Art On İstanbul for September 2017, joins Contemporary Istanbul with her works titled A Night in the Forest and The Stars Who Walk Alone in the Sky.