A matter of metaphysics

A matter of metaphysics

Hatice Utkan Özden
A matter of metaphysics

Borusan Contemporary’s new exhibition of :mentalKLINIK offers one to think about forms without objects, technology, digitalism, and also the existence of a world without a picture in our minds, which draws the human mind through a question of metaphysics and how we can exist in a world that does not fully exist.

:mentalKLINIK, a Brussels-based artist duo, Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir from Istanbul, opens a new dimension on how we perceive objects that exist in the virtual world and somehow make the audience to question that if it is possible to not look at objects without objectifying them, said Necmi Sönmez, curator of the exhibition.

The installation titled “Puff Out” is made up of eight robot vacuums and glitter. The robots constantly move, creating forms and lines where almost a new artwork gets created through glitters that spread on the floor with the movement.

The exhibition once again reminds us about :mentalKLINIK works that are created with wit and whim. While amusement stands as an anchor, the duo both praises and criticizes the world we are living in. :mentalKLINIK is so successful at creating a world, which belongs to our world, but also belonging to a different time and space in our mind (and maybe that never fully exists).

“This is kind of an offer to make us think about the forms and objects that do not actually exist in reality but do exist in the digital world,” said Sönmez.

This offer is also a way of compromising reality in the digital and real world. As with the pandemic we are destined to become a part of the digital world and create a certain virtual identity over it, the question of existence and reality is almost standing as a metaphysical stance.

Interpreting the idea of how things exist

The digital world and its forms are part of our lives and art makes us question the new forms and how we interpret the meaning of forms both in digital and in the real world. :mentalKLINIK’s works, on the other hand, give unique opportunity to demystify and deepen the meaning of forms of the digital world. The duo uses their materials as a discourse and creates a new language through the usage of glitter and machines.

“Glitter is a very distinctive material. It became more popular with neoliberalism. It is also a way of expressing identity, gender, while it is used in celebrations and many other different environments as well,” said the duo, adding that glitter is associated with different ideas, places and happenings in plenty.

The usage of material once again draws us to the question of metaphysics. How the reality is presented in the digital world is almost a question of existence, since everyone has a virtual identity.

:mentalKLINIK’s usage of material, on the other hand, helps to find an answer. There is no real artist drawing and creating a form, but only eight robots are drawing lines and moving while forming an artwork on the floor. The glitter is an alternative for paint. As a material, it is also very distinctive considering the usage environments.

The installation includes drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, performance and video art, and its availability on digital platforms creates an ambiguity that we confront each day in a digital environment. How do we encounter an artwork on an online platform and is it real?

As a result, the exhibition is a visual journey and presents an idea as a paradigm shift in reality through the digital world around us.