Wednesday, July 05, 2006

New exhibition: Of the one and the many

Of the one and the many
July 7 - August 12, 2006

Adrian Paci, Turn On (2004)
Maja Bajevic, Back in Black (2003)
Eva Koch, Approach (2005)
Serkan Ozkaya, Goldenboy (2006)
Leyla Gediz, Atlantis (2000 - 2001)

Many faces merge into one as different stories of traumatic events, despair and deprivation present the problems of the many as well as the unifying constant that links their lives.

Goldenboy hangs in the window of Platform, as if the final act of a human, when all else in lost and the last moment simply becomes a record of movement of time in space.

This melancholic sculpture can be read as an allegory of man’s search for meaning in the inexplicable and intangible. As can the confrontation of language in Approach, which takes as its starting point Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. As voices recite the first 13 verses of Paradiso, another group of people recite the same verses in sign language. The work enters a field of interpretation and although it is the same language that is spoken, it is not a given that we understand the same thing.

In Albania it is common for the power to cut several times a day and people use generators to get by. The unemployed men in Adrian Paci’s Turn On for a time come together with one purpose to provide light in the darkness. The generator acts as a symbol for renewal and hope, while also revealing suppressed and invisible identities within the specific, turbulent, social context of countries in transition.

In Maja Bajevic’s Back in Black a minimal intervention into everyday reality opens the depths of the deepest collective and individual frustrations. With their faces masked to be identical and replaceable, people tell dark, cruel and cynical jokes about wartime Sarajevo. Their humour denotes the very Real that cannot be symbolised, the truth, the unutterable, the trauma that is not being discussed.

On Saturday, August 12, 2000, two explosions caused the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk to sink in the Barentsz Sea. All 118 sailors aboard died. The 118 portraits of Atlantis by Leya Gediz stem from a single black and white photograph of one of the sailors who never returned. Subtle differences in the drawings render each sailor a personality, yet they remain as a collective memory, a moment in history that will forever unify their lives.

Also see these shows:
Looking Awry
curated by WHW
Concerning War – Soft Target. War as a Daily, First-Hand Reality BAK/Utrecht

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Performance for a Poem, Son:Da and Erinc Seymen

We are witnessing a gravely evident transformation of everyday life by nationalism through a wide range of methodologies. These vary from direct propaganda to the subtle agitations involved in current agendas like the European Union negotiation process, debates about minorities and secularism. It is a time when critical and intellectual divergence is antidemocratically censored, punished and sabotaged through emotional and physical sanctions by the state. This creates a situation where iconic figures such as the "flag girl", ali desitero, and many others are reproduced, or re-circulated to the benefit of the nationalist discourse. On the other hand, the rhetoric of a text that dates back more than half a century can accommodate today’s zeitgeist surprisingly well.
In the context of the flow of ideology from "inside" to "outside" son:Da and Erinc Seymen presented a performance constructed around a poem written in 1939.
The performance comprises an audiovisual manipulation and an on site installation that aims to open to discussion the sphere of influence of poetry as a tool of artistic expression and a method of ideological rhetoric.
June 30, 2006
Images from the performance can be found here