İsmet Doğan

Born in 1957 in Adiyaman, Turkey, and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Marmara University in İstanbul in 1983, İsmet Doğan received in 1987 a French Government Scholarship in Paris, where he spent two years. In the 1990’s he returned to his native country and settled in İstanbul.

In his initial works in the 1980’s İsmet Doğan problematized the concepts of history, culture and tradition by combining them with the dadaist techniques of collage, graffiti, and assemblage as well as ready-made objects. As a thinker, he focused on the consequences of violence and trauma, imposed-and appropriated-by the Westernisation and modernisation projects in Turkey. The introduction of Latin letters in the early twentieth century Turkey-the so-called language reform-is revealed in Doğan’s works as a political means of social engineering. According to the artist, this has subsequently alienated in this, a violent political act that resulted in trauma. Doğan’s problematic of modernism remains an essential component of his oeuvre till today, with written letters (such as Logos or BâBâ) or words scattered randomly over his canvas.

In the 2000’s he integrated another critical dimension into his artwork; approaching the subject of colonialism, he used a strategy of historical art references and cinematographic materials alteration. By integrating his own image into the film strip, Doğan makes small changes in scenes, and in a process of identifying with the correctors visual culture has appropriated. Meanwhile, mirrors have become a fundamental work material for Doğan. The viewer is reflected, multiplied and while he/she faces with his/her own body as a stranger via convex and concave mirrors. Moreover, the viewer acts as part of the artwork.

His recent projects: Eat Me (2012), All is External (2011), Close up (2008), Penetratrum-Neither inside nor outside of my body (2006) build a hybrid technique and narrative with photography, painting, sculpture, video and installation mediums. Ismet Doğan lives and works in İstanbul.

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