Siemens Sanat

Görünmez Manzara / Invisible Landscapes

Siemens Sanat, 25.04. – 27.06.2006

Sanatçılar / Artists: Ahmet Albayrak, Turan Aksoy, Motoko Dobashi, Holger Schulz, Koray Kantarcıoğlu

Küratör / Curator: Marcus Graf

Açılış, Görünmez Manzara / Opening, Invisible Landscapes, Siemens Sanat, 2006

In Invisible Landscapes, five artists transfer one of art’s most classic topics into contemporary forms and concepts in order to analyze the idea of landscape in today’s art and society.

From the 15th century, landscape, as a theme, gained importance until it became an independent genre in the 17th century. It was never a copy of nature – far more a reflection of the artist’s idea of beauty. Therefore, in general, in a landscape painting, you see no nature – only culture, no naturalism – but idealism. The canvas functions as a screen for the projection of the mind. Since the end of the 19th century, the landscape
has been the subject of abstraction, deformation, and dissolution. In modern art, the destruction of nature and the change from a “natural” world to an “artificial-cultural” one is mirrored in the works of
the avant-garde.

Sanatçı Röportajları, Görünmez Manzara / Artist Interviews, Invisible Landscapes, Siemens Sanat, 2006

Today, landscape, as a subject, plays a minor role in art. With growing global urbanization, the city and its context have become the focus of attention. In a world in which the “natural” is the minority and the
“cultural” is the way things are, the city becomes the dominant form in our landscape. The city is a jungle in which buildings become the equivalent of trees, cars become animals and concrete represents grass. We have to ask ourselves, therefore, “What is the meaning of the so-called picturesque landscape, today?” How do we see nature today – we, who live in a landscape formed from concrete, glass, and steel?

These questions are the starting point of Invisible Landscapes, the purpose of which is to demonstrate that landscape can only function as a reflection of the artist’s inner world. Hence, landscapes are mindscapes created through alienation from nature brought about by man’s dominance over the world.

We as city-dwellers can only see the beauty of nature through our separation from it. The modern tourist sees the beauty of the landscape – the native does not because he lives there and is a part of it. The farmer in the field does not dwell on the beauty of the countryside; he sees nature as material – the result of the previous months’ sowing.

Today, we face a paradox; after destroying nature and turning unspoiled landscapes into cityscapes, modern man with his romantic disposition aims to get closer to, or back to, nature through the combination of the real and virtual world. The image-production industry supports this desire by creating artificial landscapes – in which the mind escapes to discover an untouched nature that resembles heaven – the projection of an unattainable dream.

Invisible Landscapes reflects this changed perception and meaning of landscape by revealing today’s paradoxical situation, in which the former natural surroundings become an artificial frame for collecting stories of life and illusion. Today, since the real and virtual are interconnected, the landscape becomes a subversive base to our life in the city. Trees become houses, rivers become streets, and monkeys become humans. Everything is changing and always stays the same…. Evolution? – What evolution?