Thursday 9 February 2017

Ardan Ozmenoglu

Ardan Oezmenoglu, What's the Time in Istanbul ?, at Nitra Gallery, Athens

Oezmenoglu is a versatile Turkish contemporary artist who works in a wide range of mediums including large-scale glass sculptures, works on post-it notes and neon lighting.

What's the time in Istanbul?  (neon)

This work refers to the Erdogan regime's decision to delay by two weeks the changing of the clocks in Turkey because of the country's upcoming elections in October 2015, which sparked confusion among members of the public. Many in Turkey reported that their smartphones and other electronic devices automatically updated in keeping with other countries in the Eastern European Time zone. Confusion over whether or not the clocks had changed saw the phrase 'what time is it now?' trending across twitter in Turkey.

Bridal Bouquet (What is Beauty), 2017

In this multi-panel glass sculpture Ozmenoglu slices a flat image into its constituent parts. The image of a flower bouquet was painted with nail varnish. The illusion of a real object is very effective, but also helps us understand Ozmenoglu's idea of depth and three-dimensionality in the rest of her work.

The image becomes abstract and changes depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

The artist focuses on the idea of repetition and its relation to the process of image consumption and permanence.

IamIstanbul, 2016, (mixed media on post it notes)

Ozmenoglu adheres hundreds of post-it notes to her canvases and then silk-screens colourful, pop-inspired imagery on top to create a three-dimensional surface.

looking closer

Meet the Turk, 2013, (mixed media on textile)

In the exhibition's only work on fabric, the image of a mustached man and the motto 'meet the Turk, he smokes for pleasure', was covered with purple-hued glitter after the printing process. The image is an actual advertisement from an American campaign by Camel cigarettes, but its rendition in shiny material mocks both the orientalist and the masculinist stereotypes seen in the original.

21 Grams, 2016, (mixed media on post it notes)

looking closer

Istanbul Sewer, 2016, (mixed media on post it notes)

Three works that depict the round steel covers of street sewers from Istanbul and Berlin printed on post-its and embellished with beer caps, cigarette butts and burnt matches. The three works as a group reveal the uniformity of urban environments as well as how Turkey, in so many different and imperceptible ways, has been in a constant cultural exchange with the West for generations.

Berlin Sewer, 2016, (mixed media on post it notes)

looking closer

Istanbul Sewer, 2016, (mixed media on post it notes)

Turkish Queen Elisabeth, 2015, (mixed media on post it notes)

Queen Elisabeth with a headscarf. The portrait subverts the symbolic face of an empire that has left the Levant with a legacy of postcolonial disruption, frustration and war.

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