Aiming to provide a platform for new media art, Kalyon Kültür launched a group exhibition entitled “Flora” which will be on display until 16 April 2022 at its historical venue in Nişantaşı, Taş Konak.
Curated by Ceren and Irmak Arkman, the exhibition focuses on the theme of nature and brings together world-renowned artists working across a variety of mediums including Anna Ridler, Clement Valla, François Quévillon, Mat Collishaw, Mustafa Hulusi, Pascual Sisto, Quayola, Ryoichi Kurokawa, and Sabrina Ratté.
One of the newest multidisciplinary arts and culture venues in Istanbul, Kalyon Kültür will showcase a series of exhibitions to raise awareness on the climate crises. “Flora” being the first of these events, the upcoming exhibition titled “Touched by Mankind” will be held in September, parallel to the 17th Istanbul Biennial of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and will focus on the impact of humans on the environment.
British artist and researcher Anna Ridler, who was listed by Artnet as one of nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential and received an honorary mention in the 2019 Ars Electronica Golden Nica award for the category AI & Life Art, showcases 3 screen GAN video installation entitled Mosaic Virus (2019). Her work reflects on the ideas around capitalism, value, and collapse from different reference points in history. Referring to a 17th-century phenomenon Tulipmania, where tulip prices fluctuated by a speculative bubble, in the installation Mosaic Virus 2019, the tulips mutate and morph controlled by the unseen financial markets and cryptocurrencies – their colors change along with their shapes, positions and sizes. These pieces gesture at other ways of understanding information and perhaps emphasises the strangeness of trying to put an economic value on nature.
New York based artist whose work considers how humans and computers are increasingly entangled in making, seeing and reading pictures, Clement Valla invites audiences to an endless journey into a digital garden in his work entitled Pointcloud.garden showcased at Kalyon Kültür. Investigating how technology alters human cognition, culture, the environment, our relationships to space, to time and to one another, Canadian artist François Quévillon’s works Rooting: Infrastructure and Rooting: Le Rocher presented at Flora exhibition show root systems growing in contexts that recall the complexity and resilience of living organisms.
Inspired by Albrecht Dürer 1503 masterpiece, Great Piece of Turf, world renowned British artist Mat Collishaw brings to life this famous Dürer watercolour study in his work entitled Whispering Weeds. The composition features a large piece of turf displaying wild plants like dandelions, creeping bent, meadow grass and hound’s tongue. Considered one of the masterpieces of Dürer’s nature studies, this work was primarily a tool to observe and reproduce the detail of the Bavarian landscape.
London based conceptual artist Mustafa Hulusi uses a diverse set of mediums for his work, such as painting, photography, video and installation. Being of Cypriot-Turkish origin Hulusi explores his dislocated cultural background in his work which deals with hybrid identities. Hulusi’s Eastern Mediterranean heritage informs his work and he often uses the flora and fauna of Cyprus.
For En Plein Air, Spanish artist and director, known for psychological drama John and The Hole, Pascual Sisto has sampled the organic occurring markings native to a peculiar household plant commonly known as the spotted laurel or gold dust laurel (Aucuba Japonica ‘Variegata’). The synthesized version of the pattern is generated by a set of algorithms that randomly arranges the golden spots in space. The golden dust pattern becomes the motif for the back gallery video installation and creates a simulated virtual environment resembling the chosen flora. In this sense, the work acts as a house of mirrors, between the printed carpet, and Sisto’s amalgamation of sight, sounds and smells. In this mise en abyme, the hierarchies of the natural order are fused with the machine-made origins of industrial pattern design. All are blurred and merged to the point where it becomes difficult to discern the source from its copies.
Italian Golden Nica winner artist Quoyola, integrates close-up footage of plants, dramatically lit and filmed against a black background, with computer-generated material that explores the ambiguity of realism in the digital realm in his work entitled Natures (Natures 1, Natures 2, Natures 3). Fragile, gentle, romantic, we watch petals, leaves and stems quiver in what appears to be a light breeze. The motion we witness is utterly familiar; its presentation completely abstracted: the video footage resembles an animated 17th century Dutch still life and appears meditative, if not reverential.
Silent diptych video installation entitled lttrans by Japanese Golden Nica winner artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, is inspired by “laminar-turbulent transition”, the process of a laminar flow becoming turbulent that is not fully understood scientifically at this time. Inspired by the writings of Donna J. Haraway, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Greg Egan, the work Floralia by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté plunges us into a speculative future, where samples of then extinct plant species are preserved and displayed in a virtual archive room. Floralia is a simulation of ecosystems born from the fusion of technology and organic matter, where past and future coexist in a perpetual tension of the present.
“Flora” focuses on innovative digital interpretations of the environment through the carefully selected works of 9 international leading and emerging new media artists. The exhibition can be visited on both floors of Kalyon Kültür located at the centre of Istanbul, in Nişantaşı Taş Konak.