Exhibition reveals momentary encounters in memories
Hatice Utkan Özden - ISTANBULAn exhibition titled ‘A Sharp Cliff after a Soft Landing’ aims to discover how memory affects the making of art while focusing on momentary shifts in memory. Curator Mehmet Kahraman divides the exhibition into two different galleries, aiming to show audiences the influence of momentary encounters in our memories
In his newly curated exhibition, “A Sharp Cliff after a Soft Landing,” he questions how certain moments influence the act of art-making. While the works in the exhibition focus on momentary shifts in memory, Kahraman aims to show audiences the methods of expression when faced with the influence of momentary encounters in our memories.
The exhibition takes place at two different galleries, Gaia Gallery and REM Art Space, and features works by Burçak Konukman, Elif Süsler, Gül Ilgaz, Ferhat Özgür, Vahit Tuna, Ani Setyan, Emre Zeytinoğlu, Çınar Eslek, Gözde İlkin, Metehan Özcan, Yasemin Özcan, Serda Camlı, Ali Miharbi and Erdem Ergaz.
The division of the exhibition at two galleries makes the show more powerful as the works in the galleries appear to be a part of the memory of the artists and all of them somehow complete each other.
“Even though the intellect has to forget sometimes in order to survive, the traces of blocked-out memories remain,” said Kahraman. “These traces, which are neither enunciated, nor revealed, show themselves as character-building reflexes, without the awareness of the subject. However, on the other hand, forgetting is just an upside metaphor for remembering.”
As such, “A Sharp Cliff after a Soft Landing” focuses on these momentary situations by building a structure where the enduring but nondescript traces of memory come together.
The works of all the artists are drawn from their memory, as they show how an image or a smell or writing on the wall affects their perception in art and how it changed their ways of doing art. While Konukman shares his memories in Vienna with the voices and noises of the city, Tuna provides a scene from his childhood and how an old school in his hometown still exists in ruins even as the local Atatürk sculpture stays the same. Süsler, on the other hand, aims to reschedule time’s natural flow by showing history book covers.
When we focus on memory, it is possible to see how the life we are living is affected by the things we have seen and how the brain encodes early images. Özgür looks at the mass media and displays the small and everyday (yet tragic) news. Ilgaz’s large-scaled photograph and installation work takes the viewer to her father’s house, where she refers to the privacy and intimacy of her house.
“The exhibition looks at temporary changes in these situations, delves into uncoded expressions and features an archaeological survey of the choices that build subjectivity,” said Kahraman.
On the other hand, the works in the exhibition also show that the past is not preserved within memory in its pure and austere form; instead, the act of remembering takes place in the present. Hence, remembrance does not equal the past. A thin cleavage manifests itself between living the moment and remembrance, which brings the distance between past and present to mind. What makes memory a living form is its intrinsic void. And cultural and artistic creativity flourishes in this void.
The exhibition will be open at both Gaia Gallery and REM Art Space until Oct. 22.