Beyoğlu Municipality opens new arts season with Ahmet Güneştekin show
ISTANBULIstanbul’s Beyoğlu Municipality opened its new culture and art season on Oct. 11 with an exhibition by Turkish painter Ahmet Güneştekin.
The works in the exhibition, titled “The Poetics of Mythology,” focus on various mythological and cultural concepts, including the figures of Phoenix, Shamaran, Achilles, and Troy.
“If you look at my paintings closely, you can differentiate an unconventional way in which these figures refer to notions of humanity. They stem from the ancient tales of civilizations established in Anatolia, Greece and Mesopotamia. But they also represent the configuration of my dreams, my imaginations,” Güneştekin said about the show.
“I imagine them in a different basis than they have been. For me they are not stories of the past but stories of the present. They have an actuality,” he added.
Mythology is the raw material of every art and the only soil in which artistic creations can grow and flourish, Güneştekin stated.
“Only within the limits of that world is it possible to have a well-defined and stable image by which it is possible to reflect the eternal concepts such as ethics, justice, and aesthetics,” he said.
“The myth can justify and legitimate historically determined social configurations. It is the definition of the tradition. I can agree with this, but I also need to take it a step further,” he added.
“Myth has a purely practical function, but it can only exist transforming itself. Myth codifies thought and reinforces mores. The also maintain cultural continuity by linking past events to the supernatural. They are not only tales told by means of allegory or figurative art. They are still relevant in the present,” Güneştekin said.
“That is why they provide me every with means to produce works based on cultural history, social gender, and collective memory. In ‘The Poetics of Mythology,’ art works from the ‘Kostantiniyye Series’ represent the denial of previous cultures and names of the city of Istanbul. These works merge the traces left in collective memory by emphasizing that the past is a story constructed in the present. By doing so, it takes into account basic elements of mythological thinking,” he added.
“The Poetics of Mythology” exhibition can be visited at the Beyoğlu Municipality exhibition hall through Nov. 26.
A number of Güneştekin’s new works will also be displayed by the Marlborough Gallery in the coming days at Contemporary Istanbul, while there are also plans for a solo show in New York in January next year.