Hide and Seek

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Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Solo Exhibition, Curator: Hazal Özkan


Hazal Özgür

It is almost impossible to imagine a life beyond or before language. In the warm comfort of the language that covers our whole being like a thick quilt, we may think that we can solve everything about life and even all the puzzles of existence, if we try hard enough. However, this is an illusion because, with its knitted structure, language produces its own rules independent of reality; It causes us to harbor thoughts and desires that do not belong to us, that we do not want or do not believe in. These thoughts and desires can appear when we least expect it. It is quite shocking to face the existence of an idea we don’t even know we believe in. For example, we may suddenly realize that the dreams we’ve been chasing all our lives are actually someone else’s. Despite this oppressive nature of the language, which captures our deepest and most personal parts, imposes its own values ​​and meanings on it, and rewrites us in every word, we find a chance to breathe in the ambiguity of abstract painting and its structure that resists naming.

In “Hide and Seek”, Hazal Özgür examines the dialectical relationship between negative and positive space through abstract art. The area determined by the language, which envelops our whole selves, makes decisions for us, and surrounds us with illusions and narratives, is limited. Our lives are parts of historical systems that develop, regress, exist and disappear within these borders. If this area determined by the language is positive, we have to talk about a negative area outside the language. This negative space determines everything that can exist in language, even if we can’t see it or name it. The abstract painting draws the viewer’s attention to the interrelationships of the shapes, showing that the forms are actually determined by the negative space outside them. The anonymous, abstract paintings in the exhibition open the doors of perceptual freedom to the audience without the limitations of language, while questioning the dialectic between negative and positive space with its transformative structure.

“Hide and Seek” offers a dynamic visual experience both with colors and with intertwining lines. Paintings appear as objects that try to both hide and appear due to the techniques they are applied to. Colors are not repeated on any of the canvases in the exhibition, where the material properties of colour, light and paint come to the fore. Despite the heroic and masculine brushstrokes of the abstract expressionism movement, which Özgür sees herself as a part of, Özgür develops techniques focused on repetition and process, where chance and human error manifest themselves on the canvas. In “Hide and Seek”, he tries to answer formal questions such as repetition, order, and control with the masking technique, but also highlights the misleading properties of color by making use of the color theory of Josef Albers. The masking technique is a technique that hides the brush strokes and the artist’s hand, while the tulle contributes to the discourse of the exhibition as a semi-permeable layer that reveals different colors when viewed from different angles. In some of the works, he creates moiré compositions with the repetition of the line, which is one of the smallest units of the trace. When the works in the exhibition are examined, details such as the constantly changing foreground and background, the brush strokes hidden between the sharp lines of the masking technique, the artist’s hand that we can clearly see on the edges of the canvas, and the material properties of the paint in the topographic textures that are noticed as we get closer to the smooth-looking painting surfaces are observed.