Mythology and archeology collide in sculptures

Mythology and archeology collide in sculptures

Hatice Utkan Özden
Genco Gülan is an artist who tries to address different kinds of audiences ranging from children to adults. His artworks do not only connect with art lovers but everyone. As an artist, he likes it when the viewer thinks about the artworks that he creates. He loves to challenge the viewer with his works. 

“I would like the viewer to think about my works, figure out the meanings and enter into the depth of the works. I put layers into my artworks,” he said. 

However, according to Gülan, it is not necessary to deeply understand everything he does. He also thinks about ordinary audience and children. “In short, any kind of people is welcome to view my works,” he added. 

Gülan does not discriminate the audience. His works are for everyone who can appreciate art. “To understand my works, no one has to have a deep knowledge of art or anything like that.”  

This is how Gülan creates and opens a new path for those who would like to appreciate contemporary art. 

His latest exhibition, “Antique Future,” curated by Professor Hasan Bülent Kahraman at Istanbul’s Galeri KHas, draws attention to the freedom of understanding artworks.  

While his works have an archeological theme, they are brought together in a different context and content. It is possible to see antique-themed robotic sculptures, a different interpretation of Hermes, Poseidon and Zeus. 

While some of the sculptures appear as mutants or as droids, we see those works as a reference to exploring new boundaries for today’s revolution of art and humanity. While creating them, Gülan aims to show how everything we see and interpret has changed within the latest developments in today’s world. In another way, he tries to open our eyes to a new reality and how everything is destined to change. 

“People will see mutant archeological sculptures. I call them deformed ones,” he said. 

The materials used in making the sculptures are essential.

“Some of the sculptures are made from Rubbermaid. However, I should also mention the concept behind the sculptures. There is a sculpture called Herames, which is the combination of Hera and Hermes; it refers to antiquity, ancient times and mythology,” he explained. 

Universal approach 

However, little did anyone know about Gülan’s subtle approach. In his new exhibition “Antique Future,” or his former at Artgalerim Bebek, “10 sins,” which was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, the artist creates works for humanity and human beings without thinking about cultures and countries. In another way, Gülan’s works are universal when compared to other Turkish artists, which is why we sometimes see archeological excavation references in his works, sometimes ancient books, and sometimes art history.

It is vital, however, to bear in mind that Gülan’s works are open to everyone who wish to discover more. 

“My works are multi-disciplinary,” he said. Even though his works address the universal ground, he knows that he is living and creating in Turkey, and that there are advantages and disadvantages to this. 

“Sometimes, in Turkey, people’s unawareness of art brings freedom from time to time,” he said, emphasizing that oblivion could be bliss. 

He recalled an incident that happened in London, where he was almost arrested for taking photos.  “Let’s say I managed to take photos that are forbidden in U.K, here, yes we can say that there is censorship and problems but there is also unawareness.”  

Gülan is also aware of the censorship that art faces in Turkey, but he deals with these obstacles by working more and creating art. 

Gülan’s current exhibition, the Antique Future, will continue until July 13 at Galeri Khas.