YOU'RE EITHER OUT OR IN
Fırat Arapoğlu 

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 “inside”.

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.