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• Yağızhan Çalışkan • Nihal Gündüz • Gülercan Hacıoğlu • Sema Maşkılı • Maria Roza • Coşkun Sami

Beginning From the Middle

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the transfer of energy moves from more organised and useful forms to less organised and less useful forms. When used to living and experiencing events soaked in an eternal crisis, it is easy to say that art is neither a panacea nor a strategy. Yes, cynical, but it is hard to insist or even believe that art has any power to move something. Yet, we choose to deal with art, which makes us believers. We hold dear that if art and its inherent knowledge are transferred, disseminated and dissected in real-time, their impact and "heat" will grow in a more organized and useful form. We cannot move awareness, but hey, some of us even moved mountains, right? Thus, our strength resides in our choice to not sit on the side of power, but stay within the realm of the hope that history shall be written not by the powerful, but by the rightful ones.

Curator: Işık Gençoğlu


Gülercan Hacıoğlu
Pulling the Rope, 2023
Mixed media on canvas, 200 x 130 cm.

Maria Roza
Kairos' Elysium, 2023
Oil on canvas, 200 x 130 cm.

Nihal Gündüz
Remember, 2023
Fine art inkjet print, 200 x 130 cm., Ed. 1/3

Sema Maşkılı
“Power Causes Monsters” Series (I), 2017
Oil on canvas, 203 x 145 cm.

Yağızhan Çalışkan
Fractus 53, 2023
Ink on paper, 200 x 130 cm.

Yağızhan Çalışkan

Born in Ankara in 1992, the artist is currently working in Istanbul. After graduating from Ankara Anatolian Fine Arts High School in 2010, he completed his undergraduate education with a full scholarship in Plastic Arts and Painting Department at Yeditepe University, Faculty of Fine Arts. He completed his master's degree at the same university and started his Art Proficiency Doctorate program in the Painting Department at Marmara University in 2019, where he is still continuing his studies. He also works as a research assistant at Yeditepe University.

The young artist examines the relationship between human beings and nature on an existential level. With a multidisciplinary approach, the artist, who works in different production areas, sees human creation as nature's effort to understand itself. In his works, without establishing a relationship between time and space, he questions the sharpness of the artificial-natural distinction of human beings and the dogmatic attitude towards nature that develops from this sharpness.

Nihal Gündüz

Lives and works in Istanbul. Graduated from the Photography Department of the Fine Arts Faculty at Mimar Sinan University in 1996. Completed her master's degree in Photography at Marmara University in 1999 and then began working professionally in the fields of advertising and fashion. While continuing to work in advertising and fashion, she also teaches Fashion Photography at Yeditepe University's Faculty of Fine Arts.

Gülercan Hacıoğlu

b.1960, Bulgaria. After graduating from the National Art Academy in Sofia, she emigrated to Turkey and earned a master's degree in Fine Arts Painting from Mimar Sinan University. She has also been a mentor to many important contemporary Turkish artists.

Sema Maşkılı

1980, Edirne. Lives and works in İstanbul, TR. Sema Maşkılı, who completed her undergraduate and graduate education at Mimar Sinan University, Department of Painting, has participated in many group exhibitions held both domestically and internationally since 2001. Since 2006, she has held five solo exhibitions, focusing on the concepts of violence, existence, and ego using the human body in her works and questioning the complexity of human nature through these concepts.

Maria Roza

Born in Baku in 1998, lives and works in Ankara. After graduating from the Fine Arts High School of Ankara, she studied at Hacettepe University Painting Department and graduated with a degree. Currently, she is studying in the Master of Fine Arts Program at the same university.

The young artist focuses in her works on the relationship humankind has with animals and with primitivity, and on the structural and functional features of these relations. What she aims for is to make her audience feel the uncanny atmosphere in her works and still provide them with a safe harbour by nesting them in the pleasing harmony and aesthetics of the paintings.

Coşkun Sami

b. Bulgaria, 1973, currently lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Graduated of Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting, Istanbul (BFA / MFA). Regularly exhibits his work in various group shows, illustrated magazines, poetry books, and theatre posters.

Sami's paintings often incorporate architectural and historical references, while maintaining an affinity for the templates of formalist painting. His limited color palette supports his drawing-based process, making visible an effort towards achieving pictorial and formal values. His work exists in a space floating between the stylistic borders of expression and figuration. Sami frequently borrows forgotten, abandoned architectural spaces from the recent past, exposing the possibilities for the existence of anonymous, depoliticized homogeneous spaces. In some of his recent works, he strips away historicism and allusions, instead incorporating objects, rocks, organic matter, and voids that accompany a horizontally-based perception of time.

Sami's paintings reveal a cynicism towards politics, a characteristic developed from his upbringing. He employs references and motifs of modernity, progress, regress, and the grand narratives of the past. In some of his paintings, he illustrates how the political is reduced to its grotesque dimension, with power struggles, flag-waving, and the reselling of imaginary dreams. His work engages in a hauntology research of its own, exploring how the agendas of contemporary societies are shaped by ghosts of the past.