Mind the Gap
18 December, 2009 – 6 February, 2010
Opening December 17, 2009, 7PM
Peep-Hole begins its exhibition program with Mind the Gap, a solo project by Ahmet Ögüt.
Ögüt works with a broad range of media including video, photography, installation, drawing and printed media. His work often borrows from the experience of everyday life, which he observes and then amplifies and alters to expose its many contradictions.
Mind the Gap, which is also Ögüt’s first solo presentation in Italy, is developed by the artist using the entire exhibition space to create three different zones. While using different approaches and scales, the three zones deal with the representation of power, authority and control through a reflection on “function” and the effects of its changing.
The first room is dedicated to a video projection titled Things we Count (2008). A right-left tracking shot slowly pans across retired fighter planes at an airplane graveyard in Arizona’s Sonoran desert, while a voice counts them in ascending order one by one in Kurdish, Turkish and English. This slow and continuous counting beats out the time of the entire show and accompanies viewers’ path through the space Swinging Doors (2009), a swinging door made of two original Carabinieri’s shields, opens and closes the passage between the front and rear space. The shields, typically used by police to block protesters during demonstrations, here become doors that physically join two rooms. Ögüt’s intervention subverts the original function of the object and thus activates direct relation between the viewer and the work: the viewers ‘force’ this device into a method of passage rather than inhibition and in doing so compute an action of resistance.
Installed in the next room is Mission Calls (2008-2009), a work composed by three large drawings that appear as a short storyboard of a performative act that anyone could do. The sequence shows a common street dog transforming into a rescue-dog and it is the artist, with a seemingly absurd and surreal gesture, that grants the unsuspecting dog this role of power.
The show ends in the balcony where visitors may view the video, this time from am entirely different perspective. Also installed here is An ordinary day of a bomb disposal robot (2009): two stereo-viewers are placed on pedestals for visitors to use and reveal a sequence of seven images of a bomb-disposal robot. As with the airplanes, shields and the street dog, the original function of both the stereo-viewers and the robots is subverted and transformed into something completely different and surprising.
Using the works as tools for punctuating the physical space, Ögüt builds the exhibition as a path, which doesn’t proceed linearly but by alternating concepts of fullness and emptiness. The narration is made of small anecdotes in between which some gaps are generated. These gaps, alluded to in the exhibition’s title, are both physical and psychological and function as the playground for the artist and the public.
Ahmet Ögüt was born in Diyarbakir (Turkey) in 1981, lives and works in Amsterdam. He received his BA from the Fine Arts Faculty of Hacettepe University in 2003, and his MFA from the Art and Design Faculty of Yildiz Technical University in 2006. Ögüt has been a guest artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 2007-2008.
Solo exhibitions since 2005 include Künstlerhaus Bremen, 2009; Kunsthalle Basel, 2008; Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, 2008; Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul, 2006; Galerija / The Museum of Modern Art of Ljubljana, 2005. Group exhibitions include 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, 2009; The Generational: Younger than Jesus, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 2009; 7th SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, 2008; 5th Berlin Biennial, Berlin, 2008; 15th Sidney Biennial, Sidney, 2008; Be[com]ing Dutch, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2008; Stalking with Stories, Apexart, New York, 2007.
In 2009 Ahmet Ögüt represented (with Banu Cennetoglu) Turkey at 53rd Venice Biennale.
Curated by Vincenzo de Bellis and Bruna Roccasalva
Ahmet Ögüt’s show is supported by Royal Netherlands Embassy in Rome
Epson continues its commitment on support of the contemporary artistic research, offering its technology as an integral part of the most innovative forms of artistic expression.
Thanks to Bell Safety, Busto Arsizio (VA)