MY BODY, THE EARTH
Murat Akagündüz’s first solo exhibition at Galeri Nev İstanbul, My Body, the Earth, takes place between March 7-April 8, 2023. In the show, where his latest works come together, the artist’s compositions on canvas and paper reflect his desire to explore the limits of his body and mind’s relationship with the surface. The exhibition is accompanied by a text consisting of Sinan Eren Erk’s notes on the artist’s practice.
Akagündüz’s drawings with graphite, which have gradually moved away from representation over the years, create new narratives by establishing relationships both within themselves and with each other with their fluid, transitive forms. The artist maintains his contact with the material with an attitude that seeks the truth between the physical and the mental by experiencing the human-nature relationship through his own body and thoughts. In this context, the traces of the mind flow spread out from the body to the surface of the canvas or paper, and from the surface to the void, leaving itself to different possibilities that can be connected with other images. Murat Akagündüz builds his exhibition, My Body, the Earth, around the changes of embodied geography, above it, under it or inside it, visible, invisible or only implied, often rational yet at times imaginary; which may evoke admiration, disgust, compassion or pity. This definition is, at the same time, the reflection, in Murat’s artistic practice, of a wide-angle, integrated process of looking that reveals all wounds, damage, maladjustements, survival attempts and healing processes.
As for the most deciding feature of these ‘form bodies’ that ‘imitate’ the outlines of the surface they are on, that resemble it along the direction of the gaze and become an interpretation with the artist’s intervention in representation, it is perhaps concealed in the unique relationship it forms with space/emptiness. Just like the multifaceted relationship of meaning we form with the seas and lands, the world and the underworld, the sky, atmosphere, planet and even outer space, Murat’s geography, too, has a character based in the acceptance of space. However, rather than focusing on a single expression or even humanity itself, he presents the viewer the identity of expression, a psycho-geological narrative that rises on the grounds of a tectonic and seismic visuality and is now ‘becoming earth.’ While defining the states of fading, transforming, disappearing, dissolving and melting with a self-critical approach, what the artist focuses on is not only what he ‘shows’, but also the flexibility of the principle of thinking and interpretation.
*Galeri Nev İstanbul can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday, between 11 am – 6.30 pm.