Myths And Dreams
The legends of the lands we live on might be the oldest stories in history. The myths with a universality beyond time and place and a discourse on the human condition are the principal foundations of the literary tradition constituting the backbone of our civilization. Although they belong to such a distant past, the symbols from these stories are deeply rooted in the contemporary individual’s subconscious and they continue to appear before us, either among ancient remains all around Anatolia, or at the least expected corners of our cities, still as one of the leading sources of inspiration for visual arts.
“Myths and Dreams” is a modest tribute to Anatolia’s infinitely rich cultural patrimony, featuring works by contemporary artists living in this region of the world and about its places with an ancient past or mythological imagery. The exhibition emphasizes that we inhabit a universe of images where yesterday and today come together on one single plane, and that our cultural heritage is not an abstract entity independent of our present. With a particular focus on Anatolia’s memory lane, it allows us to look at the legends as our collective consciousness connecting us to each other.
Curator: İpek Yeğinsü
Artists: Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Aslı Dinç, Baysan Yüksel, Deniz Defne Acerol, Doğukan Çiğdem, Genco Gülan, Güliz Baydemir, Kerem Topuz
About the Artists
Born in 1983 in Adana, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici is a graduate of Bilkent University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. He worked as an art director in television set, studio and stage design for ten years. In his photographs, digital drawings and collages as well as his ceramic and ready-made objects, he focuses on gender, identity and existence. In his Gynaeceum series, he explores how women inspiring temples in the matriarchal times used the architectural structures as an instrument for leaving their mark throughout the Byzantine and the Ottoman history, and builds a new narrative restoring their dignity.
Born in 1985 in İstanbul, Aslı Dinç is a graduate of Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting. She pursued her M.F.A. at Yıldız Technical University Faculty of Art and Design. Focusing on themes including time and place, history and future departing from psychogeography, she creates playful ‘dérives’ and stories to contextually transform the space. In her Echo of a Distant Time, she passes through a time tunnel at the Mausoleum built for King Mausolos in Halicarnassus, and she experiences being an offering to the king.
Born in 1984, Baysan Yüksel graduated from İstanbul Bilgi University Department of Sociology, followed by a Master’s degree in Painting at the Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts. In her oeuvre, she uses the myths and the symbols also occasionally appearing in our dreams as the signs of our collective subconscious. Both Ouroboros, the snake devouring its own tail in Cycle, and Medusa turning into stone anyone she makes eye contact with, reflect the tension emanating from those human ambitions that are as harmful for the individuals themselves as for those around them.
Born in 1990 in Hong Kong, Deniz Defne Acerol is a graduate of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Painting. In her works, she uses personified characters similar to those found in fables and elements of nature as mythological symbols, for telling stories with an archetypal repertoire she exclusively determines. Lost Civilization in combination with Olive Tree and Terebinth, the two trees with a particularly important place in Western Anatolian culture, point at the presence of countless stories on these lands still waiting to be discovered.
Born in 1988, Doğukan Çiğdem further developed his tendency to create visual narratives thanks to the sculpture education he received from Mehmet Aksoy. In his oeuvre, he explores historical cycle, evolution and civilization, offering a satirical approach to the basic human impulses that have remained unchanged for several ages. In the Halfeti Series featured in the exhibition, Çiğdem traces the Mesopotamian myths, adding one more character to his story with an inspiration from the hammer-headed figure discovered in Göbeklitepe.
Born in 1969 in İstanbul, Genco Gülan studied Political Science and Art at Boğaziçi University and received his Master’s degree from the New School in New York. He refers to all conceptual artworks in painting, sculpture, performance and new media as examples of ‘idea art’, and in his sculptures with an ironic language, he regularly combines mythological symbols with popular images. In Siamese Artemis, he depicts Artemis in a style particular to the ancient city of Ephesus, making a freak out of it and destroying its uniqueness.
Born in 1982 in Tekirdağ, Güliz Baydemir is a graduate of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Painting (B.F.A.), Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Department of Painting (M.F.A.) and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Painting (Artistic Doctorate). She is interested in those moments of existential awareness we experience when time nearly stops, and she aims at capturing such moments in her compositions with a dominant calmness hiding an intense energy. In Troia, she pulls the viewer into a moment among ancient remains where time becomes frozen and tangible.
Born in 1978 in Tekirdağ, Kerem Topuz studied Cinema-TV at Akademi İstanbul. In his works based on irony, he isolates popular cultural images, iconic artworks and daily objects from their contexts and emphasizes their ‘kitschy’ qualities. Similarly, in his Aphrodite and the Skies from the Enframed series, Topuz detaches an important work of art from its original historical period and places it in the midst of an absurd stylistic collage. This way, he intends to build an intellectual bridge between the past and the future.
Born in 1981 in Istanbul, İpek Yeğinsü is a graduate of Liceo Scientifico Italiano, Koç University Department of International Relations (B.A.) and Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management (M.A.). Since 2007, she has been working for several contemporary art institutions as collection director, exhibition coordinator, writer and curator. Currently working as an independent art writer and curator while continuing her Ph.D. education at Özyeğin University Department of Design, Technology and Society, Yeğinsü has been exhibiting her own artistic projects in painting, photography and multimedia installation at local and international galleries and art fairs since 2008.
Founded with the mission of delivering contemporary art to new audiences and of making an artful living possible for everyone, the online art platform Art50.net continues its activities with a focus on supporting young and emerging artists. With its projects promoting artists and bringing them together with art enthusiasts in various environments since 2014, Art50.net represents an alternative model within the Turkish art scene.
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