kerem ozan bayraktar

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"Mecha", archival pigment print, 49 x 107 cm 2019
Escape Velocity (2019) series explores the enigmatic forces that are hard to decipher but nevertheless tend to have an intense impact. A fly that is somehow pushed to the far edge of the space, a crashed Formula 1 car, a vehicle that was designed to crash into the Moon but failed, a smashed war helicopter and a rain of frogs that had possibly started as a result of a heavy storm... The big black spaces that dominate the field almost function as spaces where unseen forces impact each other. Musca domestica (2019), a print from this series, captures the last movement of a fly before it leaves a scene and traps it in the corner. Musca domestica is the Latin name of the most well-known type of fly and in literature, it is used as a symbol for the brevity of life and the fact that humans barely have any control over death.

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk (2019) features a “black hawk” which is a four-bladed twin engine combat helicopter produced by the Sikorsky Aircraft. Named after a Native American warrior and used after the 1970s by the US Army, the artist produces an image that falls against the so-called glorious past of this helicopter; positioning it not as a war hero but instead as a broken, failed and defeated inanimate object.

Rare Meteorological Phenomenon (2019) consists of frogs that float on the centerless plane in different positions. The rain of frogs is a rare meteorological phenomenon that is thought to be caused by strong storms. This unusual phenomenon is a threat to humans, thus Bayraktar brings into question humanity’s relationship with nature. The space-like black background allows the image to be perceived almost as three dimensional, and potentially existing far away from a known natural environment, possibly in a different universe.

The work Mecha (2019) is presented in a diptych aesthetic. It brings together a Formula 1 car crash and the first spacecraft that reached the velocity necessary to escape Earth’s gravity. The spacecraft named Luna 1 was designed to crash into the Moon but failed because of a miscalculation. Since then, it has been stuck in an orbit in the solar system, and was named Mecha, meaning dream. Mecha has also become the generic name of humanoid robots that are controlled by humans.

-Ulya Soley