Ahmet Güneştekin

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Ahmet Güneştekin
Sun Road
Curated by Christoph Tannert
29 April –  20 May 2017
Galerie Michael Schultz, Mommsenstraße 34, Berlin

 

Special Opening: 29 April, 7 pm – 9 pm
Opening hours: Tuesday–Friday 10 am– 7 pm, Saturday 10 am – 2 pm

 

SUN ROAD

MYTIC PAST IN ABSTRACT CONSTELLATION

In April 29, Galerie Michael Schultz will present the exhibition Sun Road by Turkish Kurdish artist Ahmet Güneştekin in Berlin.

Sun Road comprises Güneştekin’s talent in a variety of mediums, from optic and dimensional paintings and patchwork quilts to his most recent forays in sculpture which reveal the way he imagines ancient elements of mythologies and religions in an acutely intricate and bright context.

Curated by Christoph Tannert, the artistic director and the chief curator for the visual arts section of Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, the exhibition will continue through May 20.

Combining mixed media items like concave mirrors and metal cages with optical illusions and color gradients, Güneştekin forges a unique space steeped in mythologies that have prevailed for centuries. His uses of symbolism influenced by ancient mythologies and modern religions and his treatment of iconography of objects and symbols make him appears simultaneously ancient and modern. From his interventions into patchwork quilts to his hybrid use of metal and mirrors in wall reliefs and optic paintings, Sun Road gives focus to different chapters of his artistic career.

Affected by the spiritual and philosophical world of Yezidis, Kurdish speaking religious minority, Güneştekin understands Yezidism as an oral tradition which integrated motifs from different epochs in its history into complex whole, as is typical of oral traditions in general.

Researchers of oral tradition have remarked on how the words in oral story differ not only from narrator to narrator, but also between the performances of the same narrator, new elements are constantly being introduced. The same is true as regards the sequences of the episodes in case of longer pieces. Two performers rarely follow the same order. Such a variability and creativity inevitably means that the content of oral tradition is open to change. Non-literate religions are far more prone to change than literate religious, with their fixed points of reference. Those elements inherent in oral pieces not only make Güneştekin’s practice unconventional and modern but his works open to interpret.
While one oral tradition may easily borrow from another one, it is equally possible that an oral tradition borrows from a literate one, and quite likely from another medium. This way of thinking allows Güneştekin use diverse and conflicted thoughts and also multiple and hybrid methods in his performance.

This oral nature, which shaped the structure and the nature of Yezidi belief systems, has undergone profound changes in the last few decades, thanks to the spread of compulsory education, general literacy, the interest of outsiders in Yezidi faith, and the interest of outsiders had to say about them. Yezidi diaspora living in the West, especially in Germany have significance on my claim to display my works in Berlin Güneştekin told. Displaying my works, will have powerful effects on the cultural diaspora and I believe it has a potential to trigger a dialogue among the cultural diaspora bringing into open new perspectives added Güneştekin.
Güneştekin’s sense of light and color radiates throughout his objects, whatever medium he is working in, and it is probably what strikes the eye at first, sometimes making it challenging for the uninitiated to move beyond this luminosity to see the various levels of drawing, figuration, and abstraction that inhabit his objects. There is also a density to his imagery that requires frequent re-engagement if one is to fully absorb the totality of the work in question and the works in patchwork quilts in Sun Road as well.

Güneştekin creates his own patterns and motifs from his lexicon of themes and characters from ancient mythologies. The work of sewing quilts, in which old clothes are torn up to make something new and useful, is seen by the women as a new creation after destruction, a symbolic act in the sense that something dead is reawakened to life.

Güneştekin brings into an unprecedented approach to creating patterns. He does not only superimpose his own patterns and themes into the traditionally produced quilts but he also intervenes in an extent to reveal the presence of his quality constructing his own voice and language. They are quilts whose motifs are not very realistic but full of symbolism. The practical as well as aesthetic aspects of quilts takes on a new meaning. Typical characteristics of their creation indicate their origin and make them cultural and historical documents.

The patchwork quilts which reflect the themes that occupy Güneştekin in his paintings differ radically from the traditional ones. They are wildly colorful, whereas traditional patchworks are normally understated. Güneştekin’s works show the way he interprets mythology. For Güneştekin the fullness of creative potential lies in breaking loose from geometry, in free variations of colors, forms, materials and creative techniques. Only along this path could the patchwork quilt again become the mirror of the present time that provided its inspiration.

In Sun Road, Güneştekin’s artworks make the viewer be aware of the convergence of the modern and the traditional and they create an original language for the dialogue between the unchanging and the new. The exhibition will be accompanied with a fully illustrated catalogue and will be open to visit from April 29th to May 20th at Galerie Michael Schultz in Berlin.

For press information please contact nilgun.ozten@gsmsanat.com


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