La Donna E Mobile Exhibition
    •  La donna e mobile

      By Nancy Atakan


      Throughout the twentieth century more than any other type of image, the photograph appeared to have a direct connection to visual reality. It seemed to distinguish between the real and the imaginary. Evidently, it was impossible to make a photograph of a ghost or an angel. While a photographer could always work with scale, could make the large appear small and the small appear large, could make the far away appear near and the near faraway. The photographer could capture spontaneous moments or staged scenes, but to be photographed, something had to exist in the material world. While many photographers documented events, others worked in studios to create images for advertisement and fashion magazines, while others made beautiful pictures adhering to classical cannons of painting or twentieth century elements of design.  In the twenty first century things changed. Integration of photography with digital technology brought a new level to the realm of image production. The potential for distortion, ambiguity, illusion, color manipulation, large sizes, and picturing the imaginary became alluring to many visual artists who had previously been trained as painters. Whether trained as a graphic designer, a photographer, or in a traditional fine arts department, one important trend in the contemporary art world is for artists to use photographic images in some way to produce their work.


      While not being true for all, some contemporary artists who use photographic images strive to communicate with a poetic, aesthetically pleasing visual language and rely to some degree on digital technology to achieve the desired results.  Even though each artist in this show conveys an individual message, this is a characteristic that unites the works of the five artists.  Bige Alkor’s work entitled “Bengi Dönüü” refers to Nietzsche’s concept of eternal transformation to explore concepts about resemblance, timelessness, and repetition. The artist combines a scanned image from a medieval painting with a photograph of a strikingly similar contemporary woman to remind us that physical beauty in art as in life remains constant. As Gül Ilgaz observes her immediate environment, she intuitively captures photographic images that reflect her private emotions and personal dilemmas.   To transform ordinary objects such as interlaced or knotted trees such as those in “Ak” or “Çift” into poetic statements, Ilgaz crops, manipulates color and enhances lighting effects. In her piece entitled, “The Struggle”, Gül Ilgaz incorporated her self-portrait into a photograph of Athena taken from the relief on a wall of the Bergamot Temple now located in Berlin.  In this work, she depicted herself as an introspective female warrior whose facial expression radiates hope for a positive outcome to the universal battle of life. In her portraits, Emine Ceylan manipulates color and overlays her figures with all types of flowers from rose buds to wild flowers to romanticize the concept of feminine beauty. Unlike the other artists in the show, Ayegül Özener uses digital technology sparingly.  Her aim is to capture in her photographs small details that other people may have overlooked.  Concentration on microscopic analyses of small elements makes her images become abstract as they lose their ‘objectness’. In her work entitled “çsel Dönüüm” she creates an unidentifiable illusionary landscape of strongly highlighted objects.  Are the objects large or small, near or far away? Is the scene found or staged? While some of the other artists also make films, Ebru Özsecen’s work entitled “Rose Cut” that transforms a butcher shop into a feminine space is the only video exhibited in this show.  For another work entitled “Bisquit Style”, she uses a Polaroid camera to capture the beauty of delicate 18th century porcelain vases.


      With photography as a medium, the work in this show uses a poetic visual language to present a sensitive interpretation of the drama of life glimpsed in small captured moments or pauses in time. Without doubt the aesthetic of the world presented here is from a female perspective and totally in tune with the words in Verdi’s opera.  


      Nancy Atakan

      June 1, 2011