Ahmet Güneştekin

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Ahmet Güneştekin

The Universe of Myths

3 – 27 August 2019

Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien


Güneştekin’s Universe of Myths to go on view at Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien

 Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien presents Ahmet Güneştekin’s solo exhibition The Universe of Myths as of August 3. Curated by Ulrich Ptak, the exhibition brings together artist’s autarkic sculptures as altars of remembrance which radiate sublimity and eternity; his paintings those are potent geometric constructions interwoven with flowing and winding lineatures; and the fabric works with singular elegance exploring the nature of mythologies.

The elements of the artist’s works in the show appear and act in the depths of the visual space, behind all facades, globes and incisions. They are, it seems, always there, their narratives cannot be extinguished; they are located in the archive of the universe, in the collective memory, as the curator suggests.

Sponsored by DAAX Corporation, the exhibition runs through August 27 at Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien, offering a poetic compendium of the artist’s universe of myths. The artist will be represented by Galerie Michael Schultz in the show.

At a time in which much is being spoken about globalization, and exhibitions are revolving around culture and the future, Güneştekin remains in the present especially with his work and looks back from there. The starting point for his artistic activities is the myths of diverse cultures, which he reflects upon unorthodoxly in his works. In this respect, he is not concerned with developing a storytelling format or narrative structure, but with creating a visual world that does exhibit a form of spirituality yet remains an abstraction.

Never There, the artist’s one of the most important and radical recent works in the show refers to the sites of memory, the term the philosopher and historian Pierre Nora coined. Nora’s best-known thesis is that the collective memory of a nation or even of smaller social groupings manifests itself in certain sites, with a site here meant in a figurative sense especially, such as a myth, event, artwork or also even as a real site or place.

Güneştekin has created one of these sites of memory in Never There. His monumental work evokes all those who have been expelled and humiliated. They are not visible in his work. Only objects are reminiscent of the lives lived. With the artist abruptly abandoning his world of colors and immersing the remains of civilization in a bleak grey.

In the exhibition space, the artist strives to create a tension between the traces of this installation and the colorful topography of the works surrounding it. This tension emerges as a means for the artist to express his artistic notion that mythologies are the representations of the present as much as of the past. For the artist, mythologies are not made-up stories, but rather fantastical reflections of events. They are the result of a personal subjective understanding, the logic of consciousness, and a dialectical necessity. His polychromatic and cheerful way of expression contributes to the aesthetic approach of the show he aims to construe.

Amazingly, clowns even appear in them and, compared to earlier works, the coloring is evocative of the light in Calvinist churches after we leave the mysticism of the Gothic cathedrals behind us. An essential aspect in Güneştekin’s oeuvre, are the repetitions. The almost maniacally focus required to draw them line by line, and repeat them for hours on end, calls for a rare level of concentration and patience. The artist inscribes himself in the picture like in a ritual as it were, or quasi an invocation. This is what he means when the artist talks about art exercising total control over him, and that the making of images has a healing function. All trance-like rites live from repetition, and the dervishes that also appear in Güneştekin’s visual world are incessantly whirling in dance until they slip into ecstasy. Legends, such as Lilith, Pegasus, Achill, Phoenix and Medusa, appear in the abstractions and dramatizations.

Ulrich Ptak accentuates that the stories and myths are superimposed in a nearly postmodern way so that diverse cultural views are linked together, and the artist’s creative output cannot be appreciated enough as a humanist manifesto.

For the artist, the mythologies are both representations of the present as they are of the past, that myths reflect both a past and the present. Of its nature, the past becomes the present because memory needs a here and now. However, one should not succumb to the notion that Güneştekin commits them in a striking, eye-catching way to the canvas. Instead, he modifies these traditions and lore, transposing them into his artistic language. His paintings have resulted solely from intuition and the specific technique he applies to create images, and thus are pure inventions of the mind.

 For press inquiries please contact:

Güneştekin Art Center Nilgun Ozten 00 549 520 73 93 nilgun.ozten@gsmsanat.com

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