Hosting Bodies
curated by Ulya Soley
consisting works of Kerem Ozan Bayraktar, Semâ Bekirović, and Gülşah Mursaloğlu
17 December 2021 - 23 January 2022, Sanatorium

Photographs: Zeynep Fırat

Sugar and heat: red, blue, green, purple, orange
Aslı Seven,border_less, 03.02.2022

The body is a porous concept; it constantly changes while it transforms its ecosystem. It hosts other bodies while being hosted by its environment. Elizabeth Grosz describes the body as a stage of struggle between its inhabitant and others/exploiters. Although the body is vulnerable and prone to outside effects, it is also perfectly capable of impacting its surroundings. Hosting Bodies hosts different bodies such as 3D printed hearts, a sugar ball, and bioplastics made of potato. Each of these bodies is in constant transformation: Digital code becomes a heart-shaped sculpture by heated filaments, a ball made of sugar melts with the Sun’s heat, and stitched bioplastics crack and dissolve with heat. As the temperature changes, these bodies also change shape, form, and color, and they transform their surroundings in return, creating microclimates in the space that hosts them. Hosting Bodies is a contemplation on the constant transformation resulting from this tension.

Kerem Ozan Bayraktar’s installation in the form of connected islands spreads out in the gallery. The installation features 3D printed hearts in various shapes, some placed in nylon cell-like structures; each heart is uniquely formed and carries marks reminiscent of infections traveling between individual bodies. Bayraktar uses PLA filaments –thermostatic polymers derived from corn starch or sugar cane– and the code that goes into the printer, melts the filaments with heat and turns them into solid sculptures. Bayraktar is interested in how the heart becomes an individual organ; the mechanical machine-like organ that works with heat. And as a result, the heart as an organ becomes a body, a sculpture using heat as a transformative energy. Bayraktar’s islands of hearts propose a topography of concentrated assemblages instead of a system with concrete boundaries. The installation also encourages us to contemplate why feelings are associated with vital organs.

wall: Sema Bekirovic, "All That Is Solid", 2021 - ongoing

Semâ Bekirović’s All that is Solid is a video documentation of the artist’s large-scale installation commissioned by the biennial art expedition Into Nature. Bekirović produced a 1.5-meter diameter sugar ball layered with melted and colored sugar and placed it outside on the Bargerveen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands. Over time, the ball changed shape and color as it was exposed to the sun, humidity, and rain. It also hosted animals who contributed to its dissolution, allowing the sugar ball to leave colored traces behind. Bekirović’s work is a sculpture in a constant yet uncontrollable transformation, a collaboration between the artist and the landscape. The video documentation shows the transformation that the work went through by bringing together footage captured by the audience who visited the work during different phases.

Gülşah Mursaloğlu’s installation is a continuation of the artist’s previous work featuring her experimentations with materials of the underground. Mursaloğlu produces potato-based bioplastic and she stitches square-shaped plastic pieces together to form long lines. These lines of plastic bodies hang from the ceiling and stretch out to the floor. This half-transparent material slowly dissolves then, being cracked by water boiling in copper and ceramic containers heated by USB heaters tailored for individual beverage consumption. There is a constant transformation of energy and the process of becoming is made visible each time this cycle re-begins. Mursaloğlu’s work will evolve over the duration of the exhibition: It will transform the exhibition as the work itself changes. The installation continues into the gallery’s window as an intervention, underlining the visibility of the transformative agent of heat by filling the window with steam.

Ulya Soley

“(...)Titled “Cardiogenesis”, a series of UV prints on Plexiglas arranged on a shelf present multiple attempts at visually representing the heart. The transparency of the material allows to create layering, opening up combinatory possibilities as to what constitutes an organ. “Vital Heat” is a series of 3D printed organ shapes replicating the heart while at the same time diverging from it through alterations, fragments and parts melting over the floor.  This is a bodiless heart which seems to keep pumping, only to generate dysfunctional copies of itself. The pink, off-white and red accents of the installation serve to maintain the heart-as-organ as a referent. From the circuit of veins and blood to the circuitry of a self-replicating machine as a closed system, this is an organ turned into a digital-mechanical hybrid in passing through software, being translated through heated polymer (sugar, again) to repeat, fragment and document its own shape in endless variations and sequences. The heart as an inter-medial affective trickster, pumping itself across non organic matter through heat and radiation.

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