Jan 6, 2022 - Jan 29, 2022


Coşkun Sami

Istanbul Concept Gallery

Tomtom Mah. Nur-u Ziya Sk. No:27/1
34433 Beyoglu, Istanbul, TR

The exhibition borrows its name from Osip Mandelstam’s poem “The Twilight of Freedom”, published on the first anniversary of the start of the 1917 revolution. “Sumerki” means “twilight” in Russian, but the word also describes the uncertainty of light before dawn. It is still a matter of debate whether the closed, contradictory and enigmatic language in Mandelstam’s poetry is an embellishment of the events that will lead to a totalitarian state or whether it expresses the pessimism felt in the face of the developments in the period which also marked his destiny. According to China Mieville, “Perhaps the glow at the horizon is neither of longer sunsets nor less sudden dawns, but is rather a protracted, constitutive ambiguity. Such crepuscularity we have all known, and will all know again.” *

Coşkun Sami’s focus is on the uncertainty and vagueness of both history and time, as well as concerns about the future on an individual basis. With his interpretations of what is temporary, what is permanent and what the future may hold, the painter invites the viewer to an ambiguous and ambivalent journey with the following words: “Given that I’m predominantly busy with visual stuff, I’m supposed to eventually know things about signs, images and to some extent, about painting itself. For example, a shadow is a lack of light. But it doesn’t mean that when images come from the shadows of the past they’re illuminated. Mostly, they come as some empty signifiers, like convenient and easy drafts for a composition or an installation. Yet, some of them still bear an emotional value, and if you try to understand the conditions of their upbringing they might even hurt you. Perhaps these moments date back to those obscure and archaic times marked by that “Spirit of the Depths” which Jung so passionately explored, and perhaps those times never really ended. The disappearance of perspective and horizon at twilight also means that there is more than one choice for the path to take. Neither the choices we make, nor the maps we draw may be right, but we must still gather our courage and embark on this journey.”

* China Mieville, “October: The story of the Russian Revolution”, London ; Brooklyn, NY: Verso 2017, s.3

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Coşkun Sami, "Colossus", 2021, Oil on canvas, 97 x 130 cm.

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