Artist discovers mystic part of culture
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Viron Vert, German-Turkish artists depicts his art in seven different mediums in his solo show ‘7 Curtains,’ while he also questions his roots.German-Turkish artist Viron Vert is a man of discovery. He likes to discover religions, ideologies and more without any prejudice present. His current exhibition at Galerist, which opens today, is part of his lifetime quest for discovery. Yet this time, rather than discovering other things, he has worked to discover himself and the exhibition is his attempt to open his inner world to viewers within seven curtains.
The exhibition titled “7 Curtains” plays with the meaning of the word “curtain” in Turkish, a word often referencing the “stage.” There are seven different curtains in seven different colors in the exhibition and behind them audiences can discover Vert’s world, illustrated within different art disciplines such as collages, sculptures, installations, drawings and performance pieces. In the seven different positions Vert is creating a new language of mysticism, incorporating ancient beliefs, orientalist clichés and esoteric correspondences. Vert likes to use the power of myth and archetype to create post-modern alchemical processes, choosing to look back while still looking ahead.
According to Vert, with “7 Curtains” come seven different mediums and seven different points of view. Vert chose the number seven as it has a mysticism in it. The 7 mediums starts with collage. In his collage work he has searched or attempted to discover a new God, a new meaning of power or myth.
“There are many images on the Internet and when you want to search something you consult the Internet. So I think the Internet becomes the new religion, the new system or a new God. So with the usage of images I got from the Internet I’ve created a one collage image,” Vert said. When you go through the exhibition venue, in the middle room there are three glass cases, each of them depicting a visual image from different religions. In the middle of these cases there are carpets created by Vert, in which he tells the stories of people from different cultures.
During the exhibition’s opening tonight, there will be a performance in the middle of this room. “A bodybuilder woman will be performing with a scarf on her face and head. The scarf that she wears is an old, traditional one. It refers to the cultural side of Turkey and the history of the country and Turkish miniature art,” said Vert.
The main aim of this performance piece is to show that it is not dependent on sexuality. “It is a democratic piece. I am trying to say “men and women are the same,” Vert said. On the other side of the room Vert searches for a deeper truth among the patterns of these carpets. “But also there are more questions. In another term I raise questions while looking for answers,” he said.
The “7 Curtains” exhibition has become a transformative process for the artist as well as the audience.
Diverse cultural background
The exhibition also defines the diverse cultural past that Vert hails from. As an art exhibition “7 Curtains” is an ever-changing process, a struggle between belonging and questioning, according to Vert.
“I live in Berlin and in Istanbul. Both cultures influence my work, but I cannot really say I am only an artist from Berlin or from Istanbul. I feel them both. When I am in Berlin I question Istanbul and when I am in Istanbul I question Berlin. I see something in Berlin and bring the idea here to Istanbul and vice versa,” said Vert in answer to how he questions belonging and identity.
Coming from different cultures and seeing many cultures is the key to Vert’s discoveries and works. “I cannot divide the cultures in me. I am more of every culture. My father has Syrian roots. My mother is Greek Italian,” he said. Vert’s personal identity is a melting pot of world cultures.
Vert’s life is also a like a collage of images, not only because of his mixed cultural roots, but because of the path he took in life. Vert began his education in Belgium where he studied fashion, before moving to Berlin where he decided fashion was not really his thing. As a result he found himself at the door of Berghain, working as the bouncer for the world’s best night club. “For 12 years I was the bouncer at Berghain and it was the best experience that I have had,” he said.
The people he met there and the artistic environment made him yearn to discover more. As a result he started designing CD covers and illustrations for LPs for DJs such as Len Faki, Luke Slater and more.
“I was earning money and also doing art,” he said. His experience at Berghain made him learn a lot about life. “It was the best school,” he said, adding that working as the bouncer of the world’s best club while drawing on the side helped him define his path to the art world. Tonigth at the opening the budybuilder woman, who will be performing is also a part of Vert’s Berghain past. “She is the person who takes the entrance fees to Berghain. She is also a budybuilder,” added Vert.
Galerist’s Hasköy venue invites people to discover how Vert combined the beats of Berlin’s night clubs with the whirling of Turkey’s Dervishes, mysticism and myths.
The exhibition at Galerist Hasköy continues until Oct. 21.