ELİF ÇELEBİ “NOT WITHDRAWN FROM THE ECOSYSTEM” Exhibition March 10th – April 21st
Krank Art Gallery hosts artist Elif Çelebi in “Not Withdrawn from the Ecosystem”, a new exhibition curated by Ali Akay. The artist fills the gallery space with her watercolours that reveal a holistic idea of nature encompassing all living things regardless of the distinction of human-animal-plant.
As a scientific discipline examining the life environment and interactions among living things, ecology constitutes a prominent feature in the works of the artist. The bonds between man and man, man and society, and man and animal belong to a line of thought that does not “hold on to memory” but strides onwards.
The destruction of the ecosystem by an industrialising sociality that asserts its dominion over nature and over the animal constitutes a conceptual part of the work of Çelebi.
Confronting the development of human thought with an aim of establishing domination over nature, through each and every piece in the exhibition “Not Withdrawn from the Ecosystem” the artist postulates that the possibility of transitivity between the living and the inanimate could only be attained through rethinking the system that is created by the bonds formed through the interaction of these entities.
In these works, in which she has an appreciation of the non-hierarchical and where she concentrates on an idea of nature that could exist without resorting to separation, the fluid effects of the material lets the drawings and colours transport the viewer to a world that is as alien as it is familiar. By way of the forms of the sexes that provide them with permeability, it is not sexuality but a poetica of ambiguous genders that is pursued.
Since beginning her pursuit of a life in art in the 1990s, the vast majority of Elif Çelebi’s watercolours and videos focus not really on advocating animal rights but on considering animals, as well as people and plants, to be regarded as living beings. These animals, which are part of her intellectual adventure in her own world, appear not as “herself or her possessions” but wrapped up in a concept that focuses on perceiving them as beings with whom we should cohabitate the world. In Çelebi’s works, narratives about her personal history undergo a process of arranging and re-experiencing the past, and concept of time-memory seems to be preserved within images through objects and things. The intermingling of meaning and object makes it into a world belonging not to the artist but to the viewer.
About Elif Çelebi
Born in 1973 in Canada, after graduating from the Department of Painting at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts she completed her master’s degree and doctorate at Marmara University Institute of Fine Arts. She is currently an associate professor and lecturer at the Department of Painting at Marmara University.
Her solo exhibitions include “Nonsynchronous” at Maçka Art Gallery in 2013, “Animal Which We Become” exhibition curated by Ali Akay at Açık Ekran in 2012, as well as exhibitions at Room Gallery in Rotterdam and at Apartment Project.
The exhibition “Stay With Me” that was presented at Apartment Project Berlin and at Depo (formerly a tobacco warehouse) in 2015, “Re-Degeneration” at Sanatorium, “Chaotic Metamorphosis” at Proje 4L, the “Transfer” exhibitions at santralistanbul and at Münster, Aachen and Bochum in Germany, and the exhibition “Buradan Çok Uzakta: Bir Kamusal Alan Projesi” realised at Haydarpaşa and Ankara Train Stations are among the group exhibitions she participated in. Between 1999 and 2006, she also participated in various group exhibitions in Korea, Kazakhstan, Chile, France, Turkey, Kosovo, New Zealand, Bulgaria and Germany.