Artist taking experimental approach to space

Artist taking experimental approach to space

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Artist taking experimental approach to space

Güçlü Öztekin aims to create a sharp division between the abstract paintings and portraits.

Contemporary artist Güçlü Öztekin is transforming the space of the Rampa Art Gallery with a new solo exhibition, “Good Stuff Takes Time, Great Things Happen Suddenly,” through the use of various tools and works of different sizes.

Öztekin is a member of the HA ZA VU ZU artist group founded in 2005. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions with the group, showcasing his performances and works including “For Whom Is It Too Late Today? – Between Stamp and Mars,” which was shown at art festivals in Vilnius (2009), Lyon (2009), Basel (2008), Liverpool (2008), Rotterdam (2008), Milan (2008), Antwerp (2008) and Istanbul (2007).

As an artist, Öztekin likes to create special forms to use the space he is given inventively. In the new solo exhibition, his works contained in the space all relate to each other and are connected to Rampa’s architectural structure. Against this background, the artist positions himself as a self-conscious temporary invader.

The new exhibition, Öztekin’s second showing at Rampa, addresses the artist’s multi-layered relationship with the space and his own production. Öztekin has chosen to split the main exhibition space starkly in half, creating two different spaces. The spaces are filled with two distinct groups of artworks: “abstract” and “portraits,” displayed back to back. While the abstract works can be read as the deconstructed, destroyed, segmented versions of the various shapes and figures that the artist employs in his work, the portraits tend toward an androgynous, genderless human type.

The abstracts and portraits are both in line with Öztekin’s visual language, and it is obvious that the artist aims to create a sharp division between them. The foregrounding of the content unifies the artist’s body of work while creating a rift at the same time. Öztekin frequently uses this superficial split when displaying his own work, as a point of departure for production.

As the viewer cannot simultaneously see what lies on both sides of the wall, the works that are left “outside” invite the viewer to consider the framework that is simultaneously deconstructed, produced and interrogated in Öztekin’s exhibitions.

The exhibition space on the street level contrasts with the sharp division in the main exhibition space.

The street level presentation might be considered the concrete visualization of a brainstorming session. Öztekin invades and claims the space with two- and three-dimensional objects. The artist tries to produce a space within a space, under the auspices of the same exhibition, encouraging viewers to gradually become absorbed. On the other hand, he does not separate the production process from the exhibition process, and aims to exhibit both processes together on the same ground. This attitude opens a new dimension for interpreting the exhibition.

Öztekin’s use of space can be referred to as experimental in terms of the approach adopted by the artist. He uses the spaces as an “open exhibition space” that includes new ideas from the artist.

Öztekin also infuses his work with the experimental spirit of the HA ZA VU ZU artist group, which permeates through to the Rampa Art Gallery’s space.

The exhibition will continue until the end of March.