When I arrived at Sanatorium, the gallery was rather crowded, yet still maintaining a spacey atmosphere, much like the works themselves. The first thing there to instantly capture my attention was the curation. There was such a harmony and elegance to the placement, lighting, and grey atmosphere. Through each detail, one could feel that the exhibition was designed by people closely familiar with the space and artist.
Before moving forward with the artwork, let me introduce the artist. Yunus Emre Erdoğan is a talented young artist based in İstanbul, currently studying space and objects. His focus is on the kind of objects that busy the eye. Utility, light, shadow, details, and void are the main subjects of his artwork. He composes his work with fusion (charcoal pencil) on paper and in making of art installations.
“Horizon of Things” is his second solo exhibition, following his debut exhibition “Sounds of Secrecy” also at Sanatorium in 2015. He focused on the details of indoor items and captured the souls, sounds, and textures of still objects.
As per the press release, in “Horizon of Things”, Erdoğan “develops ghost-like objects and pursues a metaphysical search for meaning based on inaudible voices and invisible traces left by objects in space. He leads us to look at indoors and objects within, by transforming the venue into an abstract, meditative area.”
Capturing the anthological breaking of space and the void left behind, the atmospheric feeling of things becomes both calm and intense simultaneously. Transition of light into darkness and darkness into light is harmoniously compounded. Therefore, it is so natural and meets the eye more than we realize in day to day life. These particular transitioning touches opens a space for metaphysical experience.
While experiencing his art, I constantly got reminded of a view of horizon during sunset. Perhaps because of the drawing’s use of linear and horizontal figures, as well creatively utilizing light, I felt as though I stepped into a metaphysical state of mind. As his objects are aesthetic and empty, colorless and still, calm and alluring; they are safe like our safe spaces, our shelters that we call home. Therefore, his works may present reflections of stillness, colorlessness, muteness and familiarity of modern humans.
Objects that were chosen can make a sound when hit hard, like a metal cup or a porcelain mug. Sound is implied but not activated. They seem quiet or quietly asking for resilience, tranquility from or for us. Perhaps, they are the nonliving modern organisms in our homes in meditation, showing us silence, in fact, is nonexistent and soundlessness can be heard.
Sometimes, Erdoğan plays with balance of these inner items, a fallen mug or upside-down bowls, which might stand for a metaphoric implication of inner turbulence while still looking pale and tranquil from the outside. Or one that find itself in motion, falling and twisting whilst trying to find the ultimate stillness, or a larger perspective for life, like our individualistic search for a soul. In those moments, we can find metaphysical traces left behind by grey, pastel objects. As they are not firm and accurate like the items we are used to, and they are not simply emptiness or nothingness, they hold the space for energetic fields.
All in all, the exhibition does not speak to the audience out loudly The audience must find their own unique way to understand the message given. There is no harsh philosophy behind hyper-realist art and everyone can experience their authentic relation with the artworks and this is where its genuine existence is composed. It is felt that Erdoğan draws fluently, capturing the atmospheric sensations of items in himself; effortless, aesthetic, safe, and soft. Because they simply ‘be’ and you have to be calm and intense in order to see.
Erdoğan’s artworks reflect the picturesqueness of everyday life that we do not recognize most of the time. Because it does not disappear or act out, or does it? Now it is yours to find out.