NOT SEEING ANYTHING
Özgür Atlagan, Luna Ece Bal, Berk Çakmakçı, Alexandra Howland, Burak Kabadayı, Serra Tansel
curated by Gökcan Demirkazik
Opening reception: Thursday, January 12, 2017, 19:00-21:00
Exhibition dates: January 12–February 26, 2017
Opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 13:00-21:00, Sunday, 11:00-19:00
Protocinema presents Not Seeing Anything, an exhibition curated by Gökcan Demirkazik as part of Protocinema’s Emerging Curator Series, that was initiated in 2015. Not Seeing Anything investigates the personal, cultural and political impulse to cover-up or conceal, as well as the position of the witness. The exhibition space will function as a shared studio-workspace, part-time residency, for several of the artists during the four weeks leading up to the exhibition. Not Seeing Anything will be accompanied by a zine.
Considering today’s over-saturated, over-stimulating urban and virtual environments, reading the current situation requires new eyes. “Not seeing anything intelligible is the new normal.” [1.] This statement is true in and out of the digital world, and inspires new responses. In Özgür Atlagan’s works, a variety of objects or people are shrouded by a blanket or paper which gestures more towards the drive behind this act of covering up than the hidden object. Likewise, Burak Kabadayı’s practice proposes an alternative, fastidiously process-based order that approaches repetition as a path for distortion and concealment. This paradigm allows the artist to reveal unexpected patterns of tension amongst organic elements and the built environment in the city. In a similar vein, Alexandra R Howland’s series AEGEA, 2016, looks to bring attention to the current refugee crisis throughout the Middle East and Europe with macro-images of the raft boats used by those attempting to cross from Turkey to Greece–an attempt at making visible our world’s most forgotten through challenging visual and ethical standards.
In Luna Ece Bal and Berk Çakmakçı’s practices, engagement with landscape function as a method for subverting a human-centric view of the world. While Çakmakçı probes the equivalence between visibility and vulnerability with the seduction of advertising and modern frustrations, Bal’s occultistic meditation in Salt Lake Reunion, 2016, is performed to a circular assembly of salt-stained glass shards. On the other hand, Serra Tansel is concerned with avoiding dominant narratives as one single reality. Her work seeks to create openings for new ways of seeing/unseeing and hence communicating. Tansel’s reflections on ongoing merging of cultures are witnesses to possible futures.
About the artists
Özgür Atlagan lives and works in Istanbul. He had a solo exhibition at Torun, Ankara, 2016, and his work was included in the group exhibition “Close Quarters” at Istanbul Modern, 2013. A member of the KABA Hat artist collective, Atlagan holds an MFA in Visual Art from Sabancı University.
Luna Ece Bal is a Paris-based artist, currently pursuing a degree in Master of Fine Arts at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Bal most recently had a solo show at Space Debris, Istanbul, 2016, and her work was featured in the three-person show “Casting the Circle” at Galerist, Istanbul, 2016.
Istanbul-based artist and performer Berk Çakmakçı holds a degree in Photography from Parsons School of Art and Design. Recent group exhibitions include: "Stereo-reality" at Proto5533, Istanbul, 2016; “Camera Work” at Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, NYC, 2015; "20XX: Relics" at Co-Pilot, Istanbul, 2014.
Alexandra R Howland is a British-American artist and photographer based in Istanbul. Howland has shown and been published internationally with solo shows at the Old Bank District, Los Angeles, 2015 and The Chapel Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014, as well as in Newsweek, Fokus, and Al Jazeera, among others. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts and a BA in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Burak Kabadayı is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Fine Art at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts. Recent group exhibitions include: “Grid,” Mixer, Istanbul, 2016; “Borders Orbits 17,” Siemens Sanat, DEPO, 2015; and “Young Fresh Different VI,” Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, 2015.
London- and Istanbul-based Serra Tansel graduated from the Fine Art department of Central Saint Martins, London, in 2011. Her work was included in the group show “Freundschaftsspiele Istanbul : Freiburg” at Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg, 2016. Tansel had her most recent solo exhibition at noshowspace, London, 2016.
 Hito Steyerl, “A Sea of Data: Apophenia and Pattern (Mis-)Recognition,” e-flux journal 72, April 2016