“Red is Red” @ Gallery Ilayda

Gallery Ilayda will host the solo exhibition “Red is Red” of artist Özcan Uzkur from Friday 3 March through Saturday 8 April.

red is red

From the organizer:

Özcan Uzkur will be exhibiting for the third time in the Ilayda gallery .The exhibition, entitled “Red is Red” takes us through the production process, makes us witness the movement towards the inner parts, the particles, depth and capillaries. Uzkur combines his “plastic” inquiries with his deep knowledge of material and his use of bright red colour, rich texture layers and unmeasurable space. The red forms with their cathedral-like ascent create abstract, mysterious spaces with inner integrity. While the spectator is left uncoordinated watching the unpredictable game between forms, the works turn into a field of exploration. You become aware of the ever-changing particle-whole relationship and its hidden unity while examining the details: Opening the castle door reveals the castle in its entirety .İn the same way the whole knowledge of the body is registered in a single cell or a single person carrying the destiny of all mankind: Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red.

As the source of Uzkur’s work is imagination and philosophy, it is also the field of textiles with its material , technique and memory. Textile is the media of his tireless researches and enthusiastic explorations. Uzkur trusts the material, he listens to it. Sometimes with little intervention he lets the forms and textiles give birth to themselves. This is his acceptance of the unknown, the new, the mysterious in his life. By no means is it a merciful process. In the exhibition titled Red is Red, the effects which are produced by heating, burning and pressing contain violence materially, not symbolicaly. The result with all its solidity is the process of the material’s acceptance of fire and oppression and the process of the material’s resistance to them. Is the main subject of art not the artist him or herself with flesh and bone? That is probably why as a result of the game of “fragmentation and being whole again” – ( the game the artist throws himself into with a hopeless curiosity, letting him/herself flow, letting him/herself disappear or resist all the works)- what the artist produces is a self-portrait.

Özcan Uzkur’s works should be regarded in the traditional context of “the presentation of pain” starting from Goya’s “The Disasters of War”. The artist as a witness of a suffering epoch rebels against the inconceivable violence and can only do one thing: To keep records. The artist should grasp the sorrow that pierces the flesh in its most concrete state.The official documents, statistics and photographs of news cannot keep a record of feelings. Only art and the body itself can remember pain. The loss or deprivation can only be mourned through the body and art. When you confront a work or a person, it/he/she looks at you and makes you come out of your hiding place. They confront you with your own face. There you are, there am I: Both as a killer and a victim. All suffering people are brothers/sisters. They have been addressed for hundred of years as Cain and Abel.

Man’s passing through the World will never be remembered as a heroic epic. It is at best a shameful , barbaric story. However the real defeat is to keep silent. Even if we know that there is not one ear that hears we must tell this bloody tale without changing one single thing . To keep a record of every decay we see in the flesh , to see the monstrosity in humankind. This is an endeavour that can uplift life and art. More importantly this is not a heroic deed but a necessity. What we have lost will not be regained. But we have to resist, firstly with the suffering of the flesh and then understand that we all share this warm, fluidic blood and are made equal in death. This ancient and rebellious thought resonates in all empires that have passed as a cycling, perpetual , unconditional ,absolute NO that wrests all the heads from the bodies. Where oppression is, there is always resistance , because Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red is Red .

Text by Ezgi Bakçay

For more information, check out the official exhibition page.

Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 – 19:00

+90 212 227 92 92

Featured image sourced via Gallery Ilayda.

Hüsrev Gerede Cad. No:37 – Teşvikiye



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