16.02.2023 - 29.04.2023
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Labirent Sanat is pleased to announce the solo exhibition titled “Knot Records” which features Aslıhan Kaplan Bayrak’s recent works, between 16 March – 29 April 2023.
“By means of process, the universe escapes from the limitations of the finite. Process is the immanence of the infinite in the finite; whereby all bounds are burst, and all inconsistencies dissolved.” Alfred North Whitehead
We are limited beings with access to limited things. The limits of our senses and minds, being a subject, and the conditions created by the nature of our being a special subject make it difficult to grasp the reality of which we are a part. We can do limited things in our lifetime. In some ways, one of the mistakes we make when we try to imagine an infinite universe is the tendency to look down from a higher place, one dimension away. What our knowledge shows us is that if light can reach our position, it will be part of the universe. Obviously, such a top view of the universe is impossible.
Leopaldi writes (1): “Not only the cognitive faculty, or the faculty of love, even the imaginative faculty is incapable of the infinite or of conceiving infinitely and is only capable of the indefinite and of conceiving indefinitely. This delights us because the soul that cannot see the limits of the universe, gets the impression of infinity and when the soul cannot perceive and understand infinity; thinks the indefinite is infinite. Instead, the soul clearly feels anxiety, difficulty, and insufficient desire in its vague and vast, in its highest and most pleasant imagination. The soul feels a palpable inadequacy that embraces imagination, perception and thought.” The moment we realize that we are a speck in the cosmos, we begin to need power, a strong feeling, a support that will pull us out of this indefiniteness or nothingness. The anxiety we face in our limited life, created by indefinite and inadequacy, pulls us into the field of questions about (our) existence. These inquiries bring us closer to the field of religion, science, philosophy, and art.
Anxiety functions as a ‘stimulant’ in the search for meaning in this world, self-actualization, and determining what to do. In the preface to his book “The Courage to Create”, Rollo May states that creativity is a yearning for immortality, and he emphasizes it is the hallmark of being human that our ancestors stopped for a moment in the rush of evolution to paint on cave walls which still astound us with admiration and awe. It is also possible to understand the pictures drawn on cave walls by humans, who struggled to survive in the conditions of the Paleolithic period, while being a part of the food chain to which they belong, through the creative act of today's humans. Even if the material, the subject, and the way of expression change, the basic motivation and impulse to act are similar.
In Variations on Writing, Roland Barthes (2) mentions the concept of the ductus, which he considers a crucial element of the act of writing, and adds: Until 1866, writing was considered a product, not a production process; whereas the ductus is not a form, it is a movement and an order, in short it is time dependent, a moment of production; to grasp this, it is necessary to focus on the writing that is being produced, not the text that has been produced. When interpreting the past and the present in a painting, we can say that only looking at the finished work is an inadequate method. Essentially, from its inception, writing was linked to painting (this is in line with what we know about prehistoric remains and individuation, because, Pestalozzi says, a child's drawing skill develops two years before writing skills): there is no difference between the movement of the writer and the artist.
To not forget or be forgotten, we leave traces in time: with words, pictures, writing, knots, obelisks… From a point whose starting point cannot be defined exactly, we are constantly moving towards uncertainty. Would we feel a moral obligation to do anything if we had certain knowledge of the future? I don't think so. If everything is uncertain, then the future is open to creativity, not just human creativity, but all of nature's creativity.
The exhibition takes its name from the three-dimensional communication system that the Incas and ancient Andes peoples called Khipu, which means to tie knots. Different from the written communication techniques used until today, each knot tied vertically to a thick thread forming the main body has different numerical values, statistics, calculations, and meanings pointing to abstract ideas. In fact, isn't every kind of artistic production a knot recording where artists create their own unique style and convey their personal memories, experiences, and suggestions about life? In Aslıhan Kaplan Bayrak's “Knot Records” exhibition, we witness the dynamism of the movement on the still surface, the intermingling of arts and techniques during the formation process of her works that spread, surround and transform the space.
Due to the place it occupies in space, the physical object appears as a closed and solid entity that is impermeable to everything else. Aslıhan's works include the possibilities of thinking with the image of threshold into the production process by destroying such a theory of space, which asks us to view everything as a limit, the idea of absolute space that hinders the creative movement. The threshold provides an area of movement that opens to possibilities and potentials, and that does not block the way back. It recognizes a space of freedom that connects the interior and exterior.
Between 16 March - 29 April 2023, we invite you to Labirent Sanat to untie the knots of Aslıhan Kaplan Bayrak's works, where the acts of thinking, reading, painting, writing, and the stream of consciousness gain expression through different techniques from the surface of the canvas to the video, from the placement of space to writing.
1 - Paolo Zellini, “Sonsuzun Kısa Tarihi”, çev. Fisun Demir, Dost, Temmuz 2011, Ankara, s.18.
2 - Roland Barthes, “Yazı Üzerine Çeşitlemeler-Metnin Hazzı”, çev. Şule Demirkol, YKY, Aralık 2016, İstanbul, ss.69,71-72.