Devabil Kara: Things Words Can’t Say – Valide-I Atik Külliyesi, PG Art Gallery Bebek di İstanbul, PG Art-Space Art Gallery Kemerburgaz di İstanbul e il portale Artportlive

Riceviamo e volentieri pubblichiamo la presentazione del portale d’arte ARTPORTLİVE e dell’artista turco Devabil Kara. > > Artportlive è un portale di arte che aiuta artisti e  operatori  ad incontrarsi in modo professionale, per sviluppare in libertà le opportunità culturali e di mercato che offrono  Italia e Turchia, le due grandi nazioni del Mediterraneo da cui Artportlive inizia il suo viaggio. Artportlive, in modo non dispersivo e professionale permette di esporre opere e testi in un ambiente capace di apprezzare e valutare proposte ed offerte.

This presentation includes the exhibition project of ‘Things Words Can’t Say’. For a long time I tried to create an art language through the formation of today upon yesterday with traces, memories and past. The exhibition ‘Things Words Can’t Say’, began on 11 November, 2009 in the historical complex called “Valide-I Atik Külliyesi” built by famous Turkish architect Mimar Sinan, continued its travel in PG Art Gallery Bebek, İstanbul and came to an end at PG Art-Space Art Gallery   Kemerburgaz, İstanbul on October 1, 2010.

Mimar Sinan’s architectural work -‘Valide-i Atik Külliyesi’- is a structure having layers of past traces carrying high aesthetic values through hundreds of years reached today.  I drew new images on layers of past on its walls and realized an intervention on the memory of the old structure.  As a trace, these images turned into a new form and unity by meeting with the textures and traces of past which were valid with integrity.  The exhibition -‘Things Words Can’t Say’– added new traces to the previous ones in this place and widening its memory formed a new integrity. The second voyage of the exhibition was completed at PG Art Gallery which carries important traces of contemporary Turkish Art. I aimed to create new space there by intervening with the memory of the gallery through drawing traces of memories on its wall surfaces.   The exhibition continued its third journey in PG Art Space. Because I aimed to leave traces matching to this peculiar place which contains examples of today’s life technology, I have chosen to draw images with neon lights on the gallery walls. By doing this, I  ended the journey of leaving traces appropriate for the texture of certain places.

Line existed before word.  So, ‘man’ drew the world that surrounded him.  Line was the magic.  To be the owner, to get stronger and powerful he drew.  He carved life on walls.  He carved everything registered in his mind as well as the things he saw but couldn’t mention and left his mark behind.  Those walls established our knowledge.  When lines and spots that are made by ‘man’ at a certain place and period of time, they include messages related to that particular period of time, person and instance.  Things that can’t be said are left to visual communication. There are traces of the moment, the culture, and the person in the visuals.  Sometimes, lines, spots, and marks develop piling on top of each other automatically, by the accumulation of lived lives belonging to different times and people.  More than anything else, these   accumulated lines and blemishes belong to a certain period of time and carry important codes as well as references.  This accumulation happens during an extended period of time. This is what memory is.   It has wide references.  Itis fed by past as well as the present. Traces force the spectator to connect with things that are not  present.  The only thing we need to do is to follow.  If we follow, we could see that they guide us through the stories about that place.  There, knowledge is not rational but intuitive about the place.  With traces, we can feel the echoes of the stories lived there.  In a way, we live a journey through past.  In fact, what we lived or experienced through the memory of a place is created with our feelings and intuitions more than its own story.

The “Valide-i Atik Külliyesi” which was built about 500 years ago, was designed carefully for knowledge and wisdom as well as readers.  Time has carried its use through different functions such as prison, warehouse, deserted building etc. and lastly brought back in life by meeting with art.  As time has passed, unrelated lives   were lived among these walls of  this historical place.  Thoughts which reject or never accept each other, life styles, ideas or experiences never thought to be combined were all lived among these walls and left their marks layer by layer.  In these marks, combination, agreement and acceptance finds life silently.

By carving images on the walls of a damp and dark room at the end of a ramshackle corridor of Toptaşı Cezaevi (Toptaşı Prison), I added today’s references on top of the old ones and helped create expressions for the future. Through this process, each spot or mark on the walls of this old prison building gained meaning.  With its marked walls Toptaşı Prison looks like the ‘subconscious’ of the art gallery.  Maybe one could never be able to see it, but the source of images in my exhibition, the warehouse of remembrances and the seed of the artwork is this little room.

The traces I left in this journey which could be defined as the transfer of memory towards current time and future, meets with past references of places and produces new discourses.  It is necessary to be fast and conditional to be able to live in today’s world.  Most of the time, we haven’t got enough time to evaluate where are we going or where we are coming from properly.  To catch up time or conditions we forced to think forward. Whereas, we need to stop, look back or evaluate the present moment and put it at the right place. When memories of past are encoded incorrectly, the conditions of future could not be shaped properly.  Actually, what I want to reach through memory of place is to create an opportunity for each spectator to build his own memory again.

The trace I left on the wall of PG Art Space Gallery creates a temporary memory in that place.  It will only be there during the exhibition and only will have a meaning and existence for the visitors of this exhibition.  The whale I made by light invites spectators to silence and meditation.  In deep sea, the figure of whale in its natural environment is perceived as heavy, calm and stable, related to its shape and movements.  I wanted to bring a different approach by ‘Red Light Whale’ installation and its stable environmental relationship in that place.  Plasticity of light is the two dimensional interpretation of ‘White Whale’s sculpture. Neon light not only represents the synthetic energy of modern life but stopping and thinking even in this condition as well. Yes, we all are trying to find our ways in a difficult, fast world surrounded by a synthetic energy.  Most of the time we move away from nature or worse than that we get apart from our ‘own-beings’.  Despite these facts, I think it’s still possible for a human being to return and listen to himself.  This is necessary to be able to protect and deliver the human values.

For me, the ‘White Whale’ sculpture in the exhibition is like trace layers of events, objects in time at a place; this represents human being’s lonely, deep higher- self, ego and memories.  Whales provide their locations and communicate with each other by using their sonar sound system.  First they emit sound and wait for the echo from other objects or substances to come back to them.  That’s how they get to know where they are and where are they going.  I think, from time to time we should direct our voice inwards and identify our real place according to these echoes. The exhibition ‘Things Words Can’t Say’ recommends keeping quiet and listening.  

Keep quiet and listen, when you reached the necessary level of silence for the voice of existence, you will hear the first snap.  Somewhere far away, on the walls of a hundreds of years old prison a crack is taking shape.  The prison sees a whale in a dream.  Painting is done by dreams not by paint.