Photo-synthesis, in fact
Making a painting from a photograph is not a very artistic attitude at all. For one thing it’s contrary to the mythos of “artist-as-creator: An artist idealizes. An artist fictionalizes and adds his own interpretation to the “schema”. An artist changes, transforms, finds new formulas. He even rejects imitation in art. The artist needs to make “discoveries” for the sake of “newness”. At least that’s what theory says. The artist regards photograph as a vehicle, a form devoid of flavor or content. Thanks to his identification with the ultimate “idea” in a work of art he produces, the artist’s “aura” is captured in it. What is supposed to be on view is the Creative Artist, whereas in photography, looking is an act of passive viewing.
Hafriyat (excavation) is an independent civilian group movement around which painters and sculptors that share the same concerns come together. This group exhibits in the most unlikely spaces, publishes catalogues and organizes discussions. It invites artists and rejoices in their contributions. By examining life and the street, it has succeeded in transcending painterly clichés. It cracked the conservative wall between painting’s subject matter and its style. It painted with a local concern, the images of the individual and the environment. It stood in the way of self-censorship. By showing what artists can do when they gather around a common idea, it collapsed the taboo that one cannot exhibit without approaching certain people in the art market. It started the trend of themed or concept shows.
The edges of the canvases I leave unpainted hint at the photographic frame while at the same time giving a sense of incompleteness. Thus, my paintings aim to stress the individual’s relationship with the place and objects in public space; and to make an internalized critique of an unfinished modernization project with an air satirical.
2-25 April 2009 Evin Art Gallery, Bebek-Istanbul
The short-circuit reflection Clean Hands develops in the name of a clean society provides protection for naïve expectations and contemplates the proposition, “Hope sometimes means foreseeing the future;” and broaches the question, “Will this exhibition supply a solution to the crisis?” It points out that valuation, and the system which determines what values are is “speculative.” It proposes a series of thoughts on authenticity, plausibility, objectivities, reality and realism. Departing from a realism which has remained alien to a remedy, it looks not at the victim but the vainglorious.