Installations of artist Baytok on display at CerModern

Installations of artist Baytok on display at CerModern

Installations of artist Baytok on display at CerModern

CerModern is set to host an installation by the artist Murat Cem Baytok. The installation titled “Stillstand” refers to being trapped in the world we live in.

The work is produced from materials such as wooden sleeper and rusted steel that the artist found in the surroundings of CerModern in Ankara.

The artist offers a disparate life to the found pieces (“objet trouvé”) collected around CerModern by modifying them. Baytok has added a deeper philosophical meaning into his work, referring to the current state of the world and the human condition.

The world figure that is made up of rusty iron is pushed and squeezed from both sides by two wooden sleepers transformed into human figures. An image that appeared in artist’s mind before doing this work did not leave him for a long time and this thought affected his work while he was doing the installation. This image is universally known Sisyphus who was doomed forever to roll a boulder uphill in Greek mythology.

According to Baytok, Sisyphus is a figure “who is condemned to roll an immense boulder uphill and enters into a vicious circle with the stone falling down every time he approaches the target” and which evokes the current state of man. He also tries to depict a process of all humans are in and experiencing.

According to the artist, this extraordinary period created by the pandemic gives cause for a decrease in mobility, a limit on the movement of people and a halt in general flow of life.

“It feels like we are stuck in our inner worlds within our own planet,” he said.

Baytok employs nature as a canvas in his artistic practice. He uses pieces that he finds in nature such as soil, foliage, branches, stones, rocks, clay, iron sticks and leaves these installations on the site.

In this age we live in with unabated crisis, the artist takes land art to another dimension by means of producing them with nature-found materials, as he protests the commercialization of land and the trade of items and values in the context of today’s political agenda.

While drawing attention to the state of the world that humankind has destroyed and polluted, Baytok also highlights that art is such a deep issue for gallery walls. The installation harmonizes in material with nature and plays a role of resistance against the dynamics of the art market and becomes an expression of an anti-capitalist attitude as it cannot be easily commodified.

The installation is on view in the outdoor garden of CerModern.