Fatma Müge Göcek

Michigan 2001


Kusura bakma daha önce yazamadım
ancak bugün Türkiye’ye uçuyor olduğumdan
dolayı vakit olmadı cevap vermeye.
Ancak şimdi hepsini önüme aldım ve yazıyorum.

Let me give you my impressions about your work in the order you have created them (let me also note that there is a visible progression from time to space/time):

The earlier work – SELF-white-EVIDENT, DAY-white-DREAMS – is very interesting; one notices in it the intersection of media and material employed: natural earth or clay or brick takes the shape of an ancient/historical remnant of a building, an architectural memory to be then superimposed with a very contemporary photographic image of the artist herself. The artist seems to be looking onto her audience in turn, almost asking them to reflect on themselves and their pasts: What is it, she seems to be stating, that makes you up? What remnants of memory take a particular shape, a special material to pull you into themselves? This I see as the personal Freudian level of observation the works suggest: what is especially interesting is the use of rectangular blocks always, very Cartesian, as humans all try to impose a structure to their life, a pattern that would make them feel safe in their lives… I was reminded of the work of turn-of-the-century artists and later those who work on the psyche (Magritte, Dalí, Munch).

The second level is the level of time, of history: the natural elements such as earth and clay get turned into buildings by humans and then those buildings are textured through the ages with inscriptions. The artist then adds her own history onto them as we see her life story through a series of superimposed photographs almost like collages. The relationship with history, with time, is an ambiguous one: it is unclear if the time/history pulls the artist into itself or the artist captures time. Again a series of questions come to mind: if the pieces reflect the layers of history as the artist has seen in her home of Turkey, especially its Anatolian past, why does she start with the imagined Turkish historical origin that goes to Central Asia to the first clay tablets, to parts of the world she has not yet been to? It obviously captures a yearning – of either the artist or the abstract (national?) identity she conveys – to belong… If there is an Anatolian origin depicted in these works, as there might be given especially the Ottoman-like script that swerves through the pieces, why is that part significant aesthetically, but nothing seems to remain from the republican period? Have there been no impressions of the republic on the soil, or is it that the artist’s photographs represent the immediate past – and the present – that we all live in and have not yet distanced ourselves from enough to see the patterns? These layers of history, especially from the natural to the one made “civilized” and “literate” with writing and other forms of representation such as drawing, reminded me very much of the murals of Diego Rivera at the Detroit Art Museum depicting the machine production from natural material to the final product – that too is a very important comment on modernity, as is yours.

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