CALLING FOR THE MASS
CALLING FOR THE MASS
Burcu Erden’s first solo exhibition at Art On İstanbul, “Calling For The Mass” will open on April 26th. Erden shows a dynamic series of works that differentiates from her works that she previously showed at group shows she attended at Art On Istanbul and her solo show that took place at Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center last year, titled “Ashes of Tomorrow”.
The young artist’s works that are transformed through her search of abstraction and form can be seen until May 31st.
The exhibition that is composed of sculptures and relief installations that are positioned in the three-floored space of the gallery, approach monumentality with distance. The series of works in “Calling For The Mass” carry a wilder and tenser energy compared to the artist’s smaller wooden human figures that were shown at Contemporary İstanbul art fairs.
The works in the “Calling For The Mass” series are cleansed of symbols that the viewers could use to recognise and identify the figure. These sculptures that are absolved of indications that could hint a scent of identity and are reduced down to torsos. These works are created without a head, therefore without a portrait to focus on the abstract form and mass. While formalising her sculptures with a distinctive method of sculpting, Burcu Erden also positions her process into a conceptual framework. The abstraction process of figure, the reduction of defined references and highlighting the foundational elements of sculpture, allows Erden’s sculptures to be positioned in an undefined time.
It is possible to say that within the grammar of sculpture, the artist conceptualises the figure within a dynamic that goes back and forth between convex and concave surfaces. The tensions of the convex surfaces that are prioritised in the works, hint a movement of the figure. Concave surfaces invite the empty space inwards with the strong shadows that highlight the mass.
The figures that seem to melt into the edged, sharp and massive column support the idea of mass with its foundation. The dynamics and fundamental decisions of her method of formation present hints regarding the dialogue they will have with the sculpture. Despite the lack of a head on the crouching figure, its worried gesture creates an intriguing tension. The body that is unified with the mass builds a contradiction between the dynamics of movement and the statics of the mass.
The viewers’ level of gaze is directly proportional to where the head of the figure would have been. This way the plane of gaze is removed with the reduction of the face. The loss of the face brings together the loss of a front. In this exhibition a distinction between a front and a back within the sculpture that the viewer is used to identifying is not possible. The sculptures of Erden are not steadily positioned into a specific time or place; therefore, they don’t suggest a fixed and safe spot to view the sculptures.