ISTANBUL: Halil Vurucuoğlu’s solo exhibition now open at Anna Laudel focuses on works created with unique paper cutting techniques that question how humanity affects nature and the environment
Istanbul’s Anna Laudel gallery has opened a new show by artist Halil Vurucuoğlu exploring nature, the environment and the human impact on both. “Both Existing and Non Existent” features works that Vurucuoğlu produced through paper cutting techniques he has mastered over the years and a new technique that he has developed by tearing layers of paper.
Welcoming art lovers in its new building in the Gümüşsuyu neighborhood as of September 2021, Anna Laudel continues to host extensive exhibitions where Turkish and international artists exhibit their works and also represents its artists at international art fairs. Vurucuoğlu, who has held a total of eight solo exhibitions in Istanbul and Bremen to date, has participated in many important art fairs and group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. Based in Istanbul, the artist defines his painting process as a mental and physical activity that grows and develops through articulated layers. The visual language of his works focuses on social phenomena, disinformation, the subconscious, humans as a combination of the material and meanings, and personal issues. The interaction between these themes gains new dimensions in the artist’s works.
Vurucuoğlu bases his latest solo exhibition at Anna Laudel on Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s idea that the borders of humanity’s freedom are embodied by global warming in the Anthropocene, the geological age we live in. He presents the ecological crisis as one of the most crucial problems of humanity, both locally and globally, with his works.
When he reached a point classical painting techniques were no longer sufficient in his oeuvre, Vurucuoğlu mastered the authentic paper cutting technique after intense research and practice. As the pioneer of the technique, he watercolors the paper and cuts it by hand. This technique, which has never been applied before, creates the core of “Both Existing and Non Existent.” Based on the fundamental cycle of nature, birth, death, and transformation, Vurucuoğlu puts the concepts of “creating” and “destroying” at the center and formalizes them by employing the act of tearing, which can also be defined as “destroying by crumbling.”
Through this practice, Vurucuoğlu examines the relationship of acts of creating and destroying with consciousness, imagination, culture and ecological balance. He also warns us that we are gradually losing our world and that all we have is imagination.
For example, in his “Dipsiz Göl” (“Fathomless Lake”) installation, the artist reflects the pain caused by the loss of the 12,000-year-old lake after a team of treasure hunters carried out an authorized excavation to unearth an ancient trove in Turkey’s northern Gümüşhane province. Examining the concepts of existence or nonexistence with such works, Vurucuoğlu also presents enthusiasts with forms that remind of places on Earth that have probably vanished or perhaps the tranquility the visitors of these places once felt.
In “Both Existing and Non Existent,” the artist highlights the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainability by reusing the paper waste generated during his production process, as well. The exhibition will run until April 22.
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