DID IT REALLY HAPPEN?
Ahmet Soydemir, Can İncekara, Etem Şahin, Ezgi Yakın, Melis Cantürk ve Tuğçe Akay
BE Contemporary is pleased to present the group exhibition "Did it really happen?" consisting of works by emerging artists based in İzmir: Ahmet Soydemir, Can İncekara, Etem Şahin, Ezgi Yakın, Melis Cantürk, and Tuğçe Akay. The exhibition that focuses on the multifold relationship between the subject and memory is open to visitors between April 8 - May 21, 2023, at BE Contemporary Art Gallery.
At a time when events are simultaneously broadcasted, documented, and manipulated, "Did it really happen?" addresses the interactive relationship between human perception of reality and recollection. The exhibition presents a wide range of images of real or imaginary memories connecting the personal to collective; the factual to fictional. Equipped with the knowledge that it is impossible to relive any past experiences, it embarks on a journey to reflect on the meaning of remembrance and oblivion, "Did it really happen?" prompts its visitors to question the inconsistent, hazy, volatile but also constructive nature of memory through the unique and diverse artistic approaches that each artist brings in.
Ahmet Soydemir imagines fictional spaces and narratives with objects and spaces he borrows from "reality", obscuring the boundaries between the interior and exterior, the past and future. As Soydemir builds a specific identity and history for his imaginary land, the gaps left by the artists are filled in by the fictive reality he has created. Thus, Soydemir becomes both an explorer and historian of his creation.
Can İncekara produces watercolor paintings that abstract personal everyday objects from time and space. These objects simultaneously mirror the collective consciousness. The artist does not only handle the memory objects of the past but also the future. His depiction of them through black and white watercolor paintings on paper invites the audience to a more vivid recollection than its original.
Etem Şahin opens up space for the impact of what is recorded in the unconscious on human comprehension rather than voluntary recollection. The existence of persistent and unidentified figures appearing in his works is dubious. Şahin is loyal and vigilant to the moments of their emergence. Through various techniques, he reflects on paper the tension between the imperious feelings of the "memory" surfacing from the unconscious and the simplicity of that very moment.
Ezgi Yakın listens to the stories that emerge between the subject, architecture, and society. At the end of her research in Misi village in Bursa, where she was an artist in residency, she investigated collective memory objects belonging to the village, and the complex relationship between forgetting and remembering, creating a new narrative.
Melis Cantürk, applying chemical and temporal interventions on analog photographs, disrupts the objectivity of photography - a documentation object. Just like an event becomes a memory in time, it is also erased in time. Thus, her work addresses the proximity between remembering and forgetting. While guiding the audience to confront what has happened, the mirror, a part of her installation, signifies the deep void that emerges at the end of this whole process. In her new work, inspired by the context of the exhibition, Cantürk's photographs gradually disappear and completely transform, revealing how fragile the proof of reality is.
Tuğçe Akay works with photography, a medium considered to be an objective carrier of memories. When she picturizes the anonymous photographs which have fallen away from their owners, she practices a misleading reproduction. All the colors and images in the photographs are now left to the artist's imagination. Artist's decision to pick one narrative among infinite possibilities reminds the selective and maverick character of memory.
In the shadow of the destruction and devastation brought upon by the earthquake on Feb 6, whose effects will persist for a very long time, "Did it really happen?" touches on the distance and relationship between past experiences and remembrance. Consists of works that reveal the effects of remembering and forgetting on the human psyche and in pursuit of individual, collective, bodily, lost, and constructed memory, the exhibition meets the art lovers at BE Contemporary.