İlgen Arzık is on display at Bozlu Art Project with her first solo exhibit, ‘A True Story’ (‘Gerçek Bir Hikâye’). The artist takes certain sources of knowledge and imagery as her point of departure in her predominantly black-and-white works bringing together an abstract expressionist and surrealist approach, and investigates possibilities for the self-reproduction and permanence of images and narrative in our present-day world under the hegemony of transient digital culture.
A graduate of the Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Painting, Arzık experimentally combines the traditional darkroom printing techniques of the art of photography with an alternative style as a painter.
In this exhibition, where Arzık provides a vision of an alternative universe through her own eyes, in other words paradoxically compromising her impartiality with an imagination-based approach by taking up an attitude towards the world through her objective, she offers to audiences semi-abstract, fictive photographic images of immense proportions that are each exactly like canvas works and impossible to reproduce.
Making use of an array of light and shadow effects, as well as employing live models and various objects, Arzık puts forth her artworks in a manner that “holds together” in terms of content and aesthetics, but is also at all times perchance or coincidental.
Also faithfully giving a ‘nod’ to Man Ray, member of the Dadaist movement and influential in art history, with her use of the ‘Photogram / Rayograph’ technique, Arzık likens the ‘communication’ born at this stage between her works and viewers to the functional quality of ‘mushrooms’ in nature.
As is known, mushrooms act as the ‘internet’ networks of nature, and a great portion of their ‘stems’ is composed of bundles of thin ‘strands’ called ‘Mycelia’. As much as these bundles allow for a kind of communication, they can also be lethal for certain organisms.
It is in this sense that these ‘mortal’ images containing multiple layers in Arzık’s exhibit, able to remain as independent entities while simultaneously being interconnected, entail a depth that references both the human subconscious where reality and fantasy meet and nature’s abstract, visual intensity.
Attempting to discuss the truth and permanence of the image in her works in terms of form and expression, Arzık’s exhibition also includes independent pieces that involve various dimensions, techniques and subjects.