A guided tour around some art galleries in Istanbul
“Desire” by Stijn Ank
On view until 30th of April
The first solo exhibition by the Belgian sculptor in Turkey, Desire presents a selection from his oeuvre between 2009 and 2021. An architect by education, Ank is known with his own particular use of plaster in his sculptures, reliefs and large-scale spatial installations. His work can be considered as an extensive research into the relationship between matter and void and the various ways in which contemporary sculpture can be defined in relation to its surrounding space. Marking off the boundaries of a certain chosen space, Ank creates moulds with a variety of materials such as wood, aluminium, rubber and clay, which he then casts in plaster.
During the casting process he mixes pigments with the liquid plaster, letting the material render their ultimate appearance. The sculptures created by this process are both fragile and robust, delicate and solid, light as a feather and heavy as lead. Ank’s work both entails and shows a steered openendedness, a brewed pop, and a processual explosiveness.
Art on Istanbul
“Do I Contradict Myselves?” by Ülgen Semerci
On view until the 7th of May
Ülgen Semerci’s solo exhibition “Do I Contradict Myselves?” is titled after Daisy Hildyard’s 2018 talk appropriating the prominent Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself”. Whitman writes:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
The works in the exhibition are rooted in Semerci’s dreams from the past two years in which different persons; existing, imagined, missed, feared, from the past or present become active agents, intersect, and become one another. Although we speak of a self, we cannot think of the individual as an isolated entity. Karen Barad proposes the term intra-action for bodies, both human and non-human, in action with one another. Intra-action doesn’t understand agency as an inherent individualistic property, but as a dynamism of forces.
Semerci aims to look both inward and outward, overlapping the microcosm and the macrocosm, attempting to experience interconnections and intra-connections and perceiving the self relationally.
“Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots” by Alpin Arda Bağcık
On view until the 30th of April
Paranoid Fantasies, Real Plots focuses on conspiracy theories specific to human healthcare issues. In his former works, the Alpin Arda Bağcık pointed out the post-truth era where media, poverty, and power relations affect the speed of generation of information and its authenticity. This time, he centers the exhibition upon this era’s prominent driver, on the conspiracy theories. The term paranoid fantasies, underline an approach that alienates or even satirizes unreal hypotheses on human health or allegations against the distrust of the healthcare industry propounded by conspirators. The phrase “real plots”, on the other hand, points out the atmosphere of uncertainty created by suspicious commercial tactics of the healthcare industry permeated by capitalism. Both of these conditions draw attention to an inevitable feeling of distrust on health issues that has emerged within the society.
Today this phenomenon accelerated by COVID-19 has become tangled as a result of the involvement of other people and further events. Among many claims that may be closer to truth or far from it, Bağcık elaborates on the political, psychological, and sociological aspects of the human need to attach to a certain truth. Within this framework the artist adopts an approach that questions the absolute and objective understanding of reality and always remains skeptical in terms of the accuracy and validity of any kind of information. In other words, Bağcık is located at an equal distance between the groups who passionately conspire and those who believe that conspiracies are jibberish, thus he invites the audience to look at the issue from a middle point.
Galeri Nev İstanbul
And the Lights Go Up by Nermin Er
On view until the 21st of May
Bringing together Nermin Er’s videos and video installations, her solo show And the Lights Go Up is part of SENKRON – Syncronised Video Screenings, a combination of synchronised exhibitions and events organised by galleries, museums and initiatives across Turkey.
And the Lights Go Up is the reflection of a desire to grasp what is going on in the times we loose our sense of direction and our dreams can only lie behind blurry curtains. Although we need light to see ahead and figure out what holds us back, this situation sometimes leads to a courageous confrontation. In fact, sometimes uncertainty seems like a suitable corner to hide out. At the same time, we may have a chance to hide and grow the things that threaten us in this darkness. As the space of things that spread and get heavier expands uncontrollably day by day, the difficult part is to face them before we are completely fallen from strength by them. Thus, we understand that things may not be actually as big as they seemed before and we position ourselves accordingly. Maybe, they are not that scary anymore once they come out from the warm nook of darkness and stand against us. In this sense, And the Lights Go Up can also indicate a plan or a hopeful anticipation.
And the Lights Go Up by Nermin Er. Courtesy of Galeri Nev İstanbul
The info is extracted from the press releases of the galleries.