SANATORIUM presents Hosting Bodies, a group exhibition featuring works of Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, Semâ Bekirović, and Gülşah Mursaloğlu between December 17, 2021 – January 23, 2022. Curated by Ulya Soley, the exhibition looks at transformative relationships between the body and its environment.
The body is a porous concept; it constantly changes while it transforms its ecosystem. It hosts other bodies while being hosted by its environment. Elizabeth Grosz describes the body as a stage of struggle between its inhabitant and others/exploiters. Although the body is vulnerable and prone to outside effects, it is also perfectly capable of impacting its surroundings. Hosting Bodies hosts different bodies such as 3D printed hearts, a sugar ball, and bioplastics made of potato. Each of these bodies is in constant transformation: Digital code becomes a heart-shaped sculpture by heated filaments, a ball made of sugar melts with the Sun’s heat, and stitched bioplastics crack and dissolve with heat. As the temperature changes, these bodies also change shape, form, and color, and they transform their surroundings in return, creating microclimates in the space that hosts them. Hosting Bodies is a contemplation on the constant transformation resulting from this tension.
Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s installation in the form of connected islands spreads out in the gallery. The installation features 3D printed hearts in various shapes, some placed in nylon cell-like structures; each heart is uniquely formed and carries marks reminiscent of infections traveling between individual bodies. Bayraktar uses PLA filaments –thermostatic polymers derived from corn starch or sugar cane– and the code that goes into the printer, melts the filaments with heat and turns them into solid sculptures. Bayraktar is interested in how the heart becomes an individual organ; the mechanical machine-like organ that works with heat. And as a result, the heart as an organ becomes a body, a sculpture using heat as a transformative energy. Bayraktar’s islands of hearts propose a topography of concentrated assemblages instead of a system with concrete boundaries. The installation also encourages us to contemplate why feelings are associated with vital organs.
Semâ Bekirović’s All that is Solid is a video documentation of the artist’s large-scale installation commissioned by the biennial art expedition Into Nature. Bekirović produced a 1.5-meter diameter sugar ball layered with melted and colored sugar and placed it outside on the Bargerveen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands. Over time, the ball changed shape and color as it was exposed to the sun, humidity, and rain. It also hosted animals who contributed to its dissolution, allowing the sugar ball to leave colored traces behind. Bekirović’s work is a sculpture in a constant yet uncontrollable transformation, a collaboration between the artist and the landscape. The video documentation shows the transformation that the work went through by bringing together footage captured by the audience who visited the work during different phases.
Gülşah Mursaloğlu’s installation is a continuation of the artist’s previous work featuring her experimentations with materials of the underground. Mursaloğlu produces potato-based bioplastic and she stitches square-shaped plastic pieces together to form long lines. These lines of plastic bodies hang from the ceiling and stretch out to the floor. This half-transparent material slowly dissolves then, being cracked by water boiling in copper and ceramic containers heated by USB heaters tailored for individual beverage consumption. There is a constant transformation of energy and the process of becoming is made visible each time this cycle re-begins. Mursaloğlu’s work will evolve over the duration of the exhibition: It will transform the exhibition as the work itself changes. The installation continues into the gallery’s window as an intervention, underlining the visibility of the transformative agent of heat by filling the window with steam.
About the artists:
Kerem Ozan Bayraktar
Bayraktar recently participated in “SAHA Studio”, “Berlin Senate Residency Program” and the “Istanbul Biennial Production and Research Programme”. His latest solo exhibition “Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words” took place at Sanatorium. Some of the group projects that the artist recently participated include: “Sandstorm – And Then There Was Dust” (2020, DEPO, Istanbul), “Ubiquitous Surfaces” (2019, Seager Gallery, London), “The Sound of No-one Listening” (2019, The Corridor Art Space, Amsterdam), “Openhaus” (2019, ZK/U, Berlin), “Istanbul Biennial Digestion Program” (2019, MSFAU, Istanbul), and “flesh and bone” (2019, Operation Room, Istanbul).
After completing his Master’s degree and Proficiency in the Arts at Marmara University Fine Arts Institute, Bayraktar has been teaching courses on digital images, art theory, photography, and print-making techniques at various institutions, writes about art, and makes presentations for various platforms. Kerem Ozan Bayraktar is represented by SANATORIUM.
Semâ Bekirović (1977, Amsterdam, NL) is an artist and curator. Both in her art and in her curatorial practice she deals with questions regarding the relationship between humans and nature. Her work questions perceived hierarchies by revealing the dynamic interplay of powers and actors that underlies everything. In order to probe this performative reality, she often collaborates with scientists. She has made works using reactive chemicals and meteorites, and has collaborated with animals and natural forces. In her recent work Bekirovic focuses on how (art) objects change and resonate through different times. In these works, her approach is both object oriented and personal. (Marcus Bruystens)
Bekirović studied at the Rijksakademie and at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Selected exhibitions include: Dialogfelder, Chemnitz DE (2020) Garage Rotterdam, NL (2020), Gemeente Museum Den Haag, NL (2019) Marres, Maastricht, NL (2017), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam NL (2016), Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam NL, (2015), Centquatre-Paris, FR (2015); Chong Quing AIR, Chong Quing, CN (2014), Jan Cunen Museum, Oss, NL (2013); Hayward Gallery Project Space, London, UK (2010). And curated projects such as, Reading by Osmosis, Zone2Source, Amsterdam (2020), Wildlife performance cafe, Goleb, Amsterdam, (2018). BYOB residency, Peyremorte, FR (2018) The Best Of Bees, Duplex Geneva (2017), Superposition, Momart, Amsterdam (2014).
Gülşah Mursaloğlu completed her BA in Sociology at Boğaziçi University and received her MFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In her works, she explores materiality, matter’s agency, and human and non-human temporalities. Her installations, which emerge after an in-depth and extensive research process, don’t remain stable in form, and rather manifest themselves as dynamic and fluid systems through their ephemeral nature. Her recent projects investigate the shift in potato’s temporalities in the last centuries, terrestrial sequences and the ways in which voluntarily and involuntarily eat/devour/consume the earth and actors from the underground.
About the curator:
Ulya Soley works at Pera Museum. She completed her MA in Culture, Criticism and Curation at Central Saint Martins, and her BA in Art History and Psychology at McGill University. Her recent curatorial projects include “A Question of Taste” at Pera Museum and "How shall we dress for the occasion?" at 601 Artspace in New York. Her writing appeared in publications such as Art agenda, Manifold, callingmag, Argonotlar, The Believer Logger, Art unlimited, K24 and borderless.