EXHIBITION

Satirical Fiction

EXHIBITION
Satirical Fiction

Pelin Okvuran

Pelin Okvuran, after completing her undergraduate studies at Ankara University, Faculty of Language and History-Geography, Department of French Language and Literature, she completed the Interdisciplinary Museum Education Master's Program in the same university with her thesis titled "Examination of Educational Activities in Contemporary Museums". She took an active role in Erasmus + and European Union projects in Netherlands and Italy. She worked in various museums and cultural institutions. She has been working as an event coordinator at the Erimtan Archaeology and Arts Museum,Ankara since 2017, coordinating activities for children, youth, and adults, as well as organizing temporary exhibitions.

Satirical Fiction

In classical literature education, satirical poetry is one of the classical poetry genres; it is taught as a sister to Didactic, Lyrical, Epic, and Pastoral poetries.

Etymologically, it is seen that the word satire has its origins in the word Satyr, which is a being in Ancient Greek Mythology that has the upper body of a human, and the lower body of a goat or a horse, who is fond of delight and pleasure, and that it derives from the Latin word "Satura/Satira".

Its usage in modern terminology is known to have come from the French word “la satire” and today it appears as a blend of the meanings of the words humorous, critical, and ironic at the same time. When we look at world literature and its daily use, we can see that it is used more frequently in prose; especially in political criticism and artistic satire. In the artworks in the exhibition, we will encounter the projections of this ancient concept, which has been carried from Antiquity to the present, in different mediums.

The longing for satire, which is increasing and sought after in all areas of life in modern times, is perhaps an escape from the reality and the harsh nature of life. Satirical Fiction exhibition; in the light of contemporary artworks with satirical connotations, it aims to ask questions about the transformative and satirical power of art and to establish a dialogue for audiences. It dreams of immersing the audience in an intellectual provocation with the somewhat absurd and ironic artworks of artists who are often criticizing, rejecting cultural norms, and always competing with themselves.

In the light of the artworks selected for the exhibition, we can see how the artists use satire as a means of communication. The artist often impresses the audience with their unusual thinking; they are always one step ahead of the audience and are often unpredictable. Satire manifests itself in their artworks, sometimes with political, sometimes with cultural and social, and sometimes with personal expressions. The artist does not abstain to reflect on the ridiculous and humorous, while doing this, they can aim to ignite the viewers and make them ask themselves questions for further investigation, or they may not have such a purpose; they may just be looking for irony for themselves.

        “Artists are now designing and building strange machines, playing with them. They try to establish the world of satire by digging the ground, packing the structures, stacking stones, cutting bodies, exhibiting their schizophrenic diaries, creating illusions and erect sculptures.”  Jean-François Lyotard. 

(Türkdoğan, T., Sanat Kültür Politika, 2014, Ankara) 

The critical situation analysis of the philosopher Lyotard about the rise of postmodern art makes us think that the high flown, didactic and prescriptive attitude of the art perception of the past has been replaced by an art perception humorous and unconcerned with messages. In the artworks we will encounter in this online exhibition, we will see that the artists have neither aesthetic nor philosophical concerns, but rather a desire to share their relational satirical dialogue with the audience.

The common point of the 8 productions selected in different mediums by 7 artists in the exhibition; the satirical attitudes of the artists. While some artists artwork in the context of ecological sustainability, others approach the alienation of the individual. Some refer to haphazard urbanization, while others refer to the questioning of existence. While some of them are examining objective consumption, others want us to think about gender and genderlessness.

Ahu Akgün's work called Underdog-2; focuses on people stacked on top of each other like rags on a piece of land. All of their eyes are on the audience. They watch the audience as if they want them to confront the gloomy situation they are in. Their faces show an alienated attitude, entirely independent of the situation.

Ali Elmacı, criticizes power, media, strength, social norms, and popular culture in his artworks and brings a contemporary interpretation to classical canvas painting, making a caricature of stereotypes with fantastic elements. We encounter a dramatic irony in Kiss My Lips, Dagger My Heart II, in which, in his own words, he "painted the ugly". We see two “lovers” having fun in their own way during a picnic. A shotgun held at hand, the wild joy of having just hunted a rabbit can be read from the male figure’s face. The female figure, on the other hand, supports the tyranny of the male figure like a bulwark. Next to them is the statue of David, one of the most famous artworks of the Renaissance, on top of which pictures of many popular figures from today have been hung. The statue of David which has been the symbol of aesthetic and beauty since the Renaissance, this time is being presented as if it’s an ordinary object completely independent from the situation in this kitsch atmosphere.

Ali Miharbi's video work titled News Tickers-IV, reproduced for this exhibition, consists of the statistical sequence of the letters of the words selected from the current news texts. The texts add a single letter to a certain letter group that is statistically likely to follow it. The news that we can't make sense of are flowing through our over-politicized subconscious.

Berat Işık’s artwork Are You Still Alive?  is inspired by Japanese conceptual artist On Kawara's artwork "I am Still Alive", which consists of 900 telegrams he sent to friends and colleagues. It makes reference to the connection that could not be established with those inside and outside, in the worrying situation that Diyarbakır, the city where Işık lives, goes through. The artwork titled “Are You Still Alive?”, which is planned to work in partnership with Diyarbakır Prison inmates after the negative conditions experienced and the suspension of hobby activities with inmates after the declaration of state of emergency, is produced in Istanbul with a handicraft trainer. This question, which hangs in the air, which has no clear asker nor answerer, and which comes to mind in every explosion or natural disaster when one thinks of their relatives, reminds the audience of the feeling of not being free and safe inside and outside with the technique known as string art, which is mainly used in prisons.

Daniele Sigalot's artwork titled Let's Be Honest, has the words "Buy Now", written in large and bold letters on red flowers, which transforms a work of art into an ordinary consumption object, like a label on items sold in the market and affixed to attract the attention of the buyer. It confronts the consumerism lurking in the art market. The artist candidly expresses what other contemporary artists feel but do not express; she makes a direct request to the collector, excluding any concerns about the purchase of her work.

Fırat Engin's artwork Ghosts of Millennium; is a cry for haphazard urbanization, one of the biggest problems of our age. With these rusted metal extensions, it gives the phenomenon of a luxurious life in skyscrapers, which is one of the synthetic dreams of many “modern” people. Engin; also engraves symbols of playing cards on the metal blocks. Are these ghosts lurking all over the city gambling with our lives?

Can Akgümüş's Wet Dream is a series of 9 photographs. Expressing that he produced this artwork with the intention of turning the male-dominated history of art and the belief that the devil exists by taking the form of a woman, it is seen that the human anatomy, which has always become the center of and indispensable to the photograph, is minimalized in the presentation of both works selected for the exhibition. This male silhouette, which looks like a tiny dot in a dark space, takes the characteristic of fiction between dream and reality.

This fictional work titled Satirical Fiction, deals with the balance of humor and criticism through visual arts. The artworks in the exhibition and the issues that cause the artists to produce these works remain at the center of this satirical exhibition.

Artists & Works

Ahu Akgün

Underdog-2

Production Date: 2017

Technique: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 410 x 190



Ali Elmacı

Kiss My Lips, Dagger My Hearh II

Production Date: 2021

Technique: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 180 x 250 cm



Berat Işık

Are You Still Alive?

Production Date: 2016

Technique: Filography ,Colored copper wire and nails

Dimensions: 40x60x2 cm



Can Akgümüş

Wet Dream II, VIII

2nd and 8th Works of the series consisting of 9 photographs

Production Date: 2014

Technique: Photographic, Archival Pigment Printing

Dimensions: Variable



Fırat Engin

Millennial Ghosts

Production Date: 2021

Technique: Metal

Dimensions: 265 x 40 x 40 cm

Danielle Sigalot

Let's Be Honest

Production Date: 2018

Technique: Plastic flowers

Dimensions: 140 x 185 cm

Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz

Ali Mihrabi

News Tickers-IV

Production Date: 2021

Technique: Video



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