YOU'RE EITHER OUT OR IN
For most of us; saying that the art pieces are formed depending on the
subjects, places and the production, distribution, consumption facts of
their era will be like declaring something obvious; but when one thinks
that one of the main functions of art is to create awareness on an idea
or a fact, the significance of the period that the artist lives in comes
up. At this point; I undertake the task of introducing an effective
presentation about city-city life relationships and human-place
relationships that have started in the 20th century and currently
affecting the present: A duo personal exhibition of Deniz Aktaş and
Seçil Büyükkan; Inside or Outside.
Class contradictions, language, ethnicity, gentrification and demolition
subjects lying beneath the modern landscape of the city life which
offers a monolithic form; become clear in Deniz Aktaş's work. While the
differences in the modernist city flow to a uniformity in the
construction of nation states; Aktaş's presentations about the cities of
today, points out the minors in the major. As the being of the high
buildings in the interspaces reminds the capitalist modernity's -and its
neoliberal and neoconservative structures'- vertical organization; it
gives clues about the still-continuing settlement in our location.
What about the usage of the colors? As a symbol of selective -and
sterilized- place that the Turkish modernism provided for the
bureaucracy since its establishment; being of the colors in Deniz
Aktaş's work evoke an antagonist thought on the definition of White
Turk, even though it started to change since the beginning of 2000's.
Instead of pointing out the buildings that are constructions of
bureaucracy, of course, the colors point out the buildings that became
symbols with the support of money and entrepreneurship's power. Tobacco
yellow, connotating city migration, creates the possibility of
addressing the economical and political reasons of the migration in
Turkey from east to west since 1950's.
In her work where she questions the human-place relationship, Seçil
Büyükkan, extracts a somewhat vein map of the body and covers the
relationship between the being situations of the figures and the places.
Are the figures that are stuck in places really free in there? Or do the
places form the individual? With another saying; the case that if the
individuals are determined by the places or not; forms the primary
structure of Büyükkan's work.
Just like city; body also points out a political and an economical
subject alone. Body, which is an important source of capitalist system,
is a subject that is covered in bio-politics. Shaped as a cultural
product, according to Maurice Merleau-Ponty, body is also the proof of
the Earth's being. In Büyükkan's work; it can be seen that the subject
of body is covered under two openings. In one hand, as various body
motions show; us seeing the inside of the body, with making references
to discipline, education, control and especially medicine. Vein map is a
definite proof of this. The other one is the outer body which is
related to the economical and social processes and can be inferred by
looking at the relationship between figures and places. At this point,
it seems probable to put forward the notion of this duo exhibition:
Büyükkan's questionings about the inside, Aktaş's detections on how
the outside shapes the inside, how it conceals the things about the
City-city life, human-place relationships are made in and made by a
social structure. This is definitely a dialectical process. Once, art
was produced as a cult object and was recognized collectively; with the
coming of modernism, this structure started to change and art object
started to transmit a modern bourgeois' self-comprehension. Maybe that's
the reason why Aktaş's city images without figures and Büyükkan's
faceless figures put up the reasons of modern individual's alienation.
Artist's ethical role in a post-industrial economy and political and
post-modern processes got to be mostly this. What is observed in both
artists is that they exceedingly fulfill the function of making the
situation of today's art more visible and creating awareness about these.
The rest is about the inferences that the audience make about themselves
and the society.