New abnormal is the new ‘black’
Hatice Utkan Özden
In his works, Turkish artist Berkay Tuncay focuses on a new kind of depiction of the life that we are living. He aims to show how internet culture affects society with the unstopping information flow. Within his creative process, he shows us new abnormal ways to think.
Tuncay loves to work with different mediums and lets the viewer think about his thought process through his use of language and mediums.
In his current exhibition titled “Human, how strange, so vulgar, such a masterpiece and yet so primitive” at Sanatorium, Tuncay once again focuses on how the internet affects the way we exist today, while he traces how we speak, how we communicate and how we create our living in internet culture.
He defines his art as building bridges between history and today, using how we present ourselves on the internet as human beings.
“I aim to make connections between different periods,” he said, adding that he is trying to present the phase we are going through using different kinds of communication styles. One of these communication styles is “mark-making.”
“I am interested in how human beings have marked their signs in the world from prehistoric to modern times. That’s why in this exhibition I have created a mural painting. It might seem like this is graffiti at first, but it is not. I have created this work using prehistoric methods, like the first human beings used cave art. In a way, I am trying to explain how cultural social impact worked within history.”
The mural painting is depicting SpongeBob, a very popular animated character that we used to see on TV or the internet.
Tuncay applies two memes applied on the gallery walls: To-Do List: Nothing and Nobody Cares (2020). “I preferred to use tempera and charcoal to mix the paint, then I blow the paint through a straw making negative and positive prints on the wall,” he said. That’s how the artist creates connections between two separate times and worlds.
“In a way I am trying to say that being a human being always comes with the same passion as leaving our mark on the places we are living in. And here in current times, I focus on our relationship with the internet.” This relation creates a new language, a new persona and a new thought process, according to Tuncay.
Language and poetry
Internet slang, the shrinking of language and short messages are another focus in Tuncay’s works and creative process. He is very interested in the way we use language on the internet and within the messages we sent through social media; he has written two poetry books.
“What I did is to find the words and phrases that are sent as a message. I love to look at how the language evolved with the culture and impact of social events.”
In his video installation titled “Poems from Instant Messaging [ASMR] ,” he refers to his earlier works, but most of all his earlier poetry book. This time, instead of just presenting his poems in a book, he joins forces with an ASMR artist, Nynke Norberhuis, and lets her read the poems in a video.
The poems are from the artist’s poetry book published with the same title. “What I was aiming is to show how the use of language becomes more and more economic on the internet. These poems are consisting of longer versions of internet acronyms. I try to put them in alphabetical order, imitating the dictionaries for instant messaging abbreviations. I call this language the LOL language,” says Tuncay. This language is not unique, so as the poems. They are all an ensemble of something we already heard and know. “In this era, we cannot say there is uniqueness or oneness, but somehow everything is authentic as they are.”
The title of the exhibition also represents how the artist approaches his creative process. He uses a popular song title and once again shows us how original and unique his artworks can get. He shows us what we already know and are aware of while using unique ways to present us with what we are accustomed to knowing.
The exhibition can be visited online at Sanatorium.com.tr.