Can the meaning of our existence be embodied in the dead body of a small bird? Can our frailty be expressed in the balance of rocks placed upon each other? Could a crumpled piece of cloth represent the net that has been cast over us, one we cannot break away from? Our main urge is to exist, to survive. But how?
Previously, in her first exhibition, Çağla Köseoğulları had focused on the city, on individuals that migrated to the city, and what they had left behind. Now, in her second exhibition, she turns her gaze on nature, and human existence in nature. A narrative language and figures are gradually replaced by objects, textures and ‘things’…
Köseoğulları’s exhibition titled “Everything I Once Had That Was Fluid Turned Solid in My Dream Last Night” brings together the ink-on-paper works of the artist, and feature elements that touch each other. Although the line is again the main component, we also encounter a new sensation created by touch, and the texture of masses. Scenes featuring dead birds and wild animals herald an upcoming disaster; while portraits left devoid of any sign of identity render visible the weight of the system we have created and the Weltschmerz we suffer. These portraits, veiled by a semi-transparent surface, do not only evoke death and destruction; but also the weight of surviving and bearing witness. The sense of anxiety that surrounds us all is embodied in the curtain that falls upon us, the second layer.
Body parts and daubs of colour formed with ink on a bright surface display a subtle, sophisticated visual order. The trace of ink on the surface recalls the sensation evoked by a photograph saved from the scene of a fire, and once again introduces concepts such as fragmentation, loss and emptiness. These layered parts and silhouettes that appear to be suspended in mid-air, demand that we lend an ear to the voice of those who have vanished.
This black-and-white exhibition, which borrows its name from a poem1, masterfully succeeds, with poetic works, in conveying a common feeling to the audience. Our fluiditiy is solidifed in the now lifeless body of that beautiful bird, the barbed-wire-like cloth net that comes hunting us, and at the tips of severed hands and feet; thus leaving us facing the unsettling truth of our existence.
Çağla Köseoğulları: Born in Istanbul in 1973, Çağla Köseoğulları graduated from the Department of Stage and Costume at Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul, in 1998. Köseoğulları worked with internationally renowned artist Hale Tenger until 2012, assisting on various projects including Lahavle (2007), Strange Fruit (2009) and “Böyle Tanıdıklarım Var III” (I Know People Like This III), exhibited at Arter in 2013. Her first solo exhibition “Out-Of-Place” was opened in 2014 at SANATORUM. Çağla Köseoğulları lives and works in Istanbul.
1 Eren Kazım Akay, Kalender