Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s works pertain to conditions in which objects unite to constitute environments. Using a wide range of representation objects, the artist focuses on the fuzzy boundaries between natural and artificial entities; their metamorphosis, decaying, and how we make sense of them. These entities range from spontaneous urban plants to exoplanets; from machines to animal bodies. While on the one hand Bayraktar’s works demonstrate similar organisational modes of different environments, on the other hand they explore the conditions of singularity that contradict these similarities.
The artist is particularly interested in elucidating vitality and how an object sustains itself in an environment. Bayraktar’s latest exhibition, “Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words” (2019, Sanatorium) was structured around visualizing how the whole effort of understanding life evolved in parallel with semiotics and language, by focalising geological and biological processes, problematizing life’s nature as a network of relationships, and revealing the compulsory connections of digital and physical beings with matter and energy resources of the world. The exhibition featured forms that are difficult to explain through dichotomies such as digital/analog, life/death or animate/inanimate.
The artist’s work often refers to objects’ methods of self-organization such as copying and variation, and to cultural and ideological classifications such as categorization. The video titled “Mimicry” (2017), which reveals the similarities between biological copying mechanisms and industrial mass production methods, shows the interaction between a machine and a living being in an orchid production facility. In the series “Circus” (2013), animal visualizations featuring the same sign repeating itself in different colors and textures indicates the relationship between biodiversity and the economy of computer games. In the series “Some Potentially Uninhabitable Planets” (2019), the issue of diversity is tackled with exoplanet illustrations. The illustrations consist of pseudo-scientific interpretations of dead planets, which discuss the probability of matter getting organized, the chances of some of this organized matter to contain life, and the ideological ways of representing the quest for life. In the video and image titled “Phases of Nix” (2019), which discusses a similar issue through time, the artist makes an effort to create an impossible calendar of a natural satellite that performs chaotic turns around itself. Coincidence and spontaneity, movement and stability, cycles and oscillations, and images about expansions in space are among the elementary constituents that determine the flow in Bayraktar’s works.
The artist’s repertoire has recently expanded to include elements from popular culture. Works that focus on zombies or stuffed animals made in China, re-question the relationship between life, movement and consciousness through these hybrid beings.
“Rocks and Winds, Germs and Words“, Kevser Güler
“Mapping and functionality in Bayraktar’s work“, Yagiz Ozgen