:MentalKLINIK's diverse array of mixed-media installations, performances, sculptures, and unique art objects shift between emotional and robotic sensibilities. In their work, seductive glamour crosses with dark humour and other oxymorons in a hyper-stimulating atmosphere of bright neon, mirrored disco balls, projected light, and glitter.Read More
In 2009, :mentalKLINIK made their international debut, presenting their seminal installation PuFF at Art Basel 40. Three launchers shot clouds of glitter into the air before settling on the stage to be vacuumed up by cleaning robots following pre-programmed paths in an unending ballet. The project marked the first use of these commercially available vacuum robots by the artists. In the years since, the artists have revisited this combination of robots and glitter several times.
In the early 2010s, the duo began making a body of abstracted wall-based works that hover between two-dimensional image and three-dimensional sculpture. These continue to be a staple of :mentalKLINIK's practice, alongside more text-based works such as happy enough (2015) and its derivatives.
Beginning with works like Slider-1109 (2011), the duo use materials such as tempered glass, polyester films, anodised aluminium, coated steel, and liquid polymer resin to create a 21st-century aesthetic. These intricate minimalist works, in which the viewer faces their own reflection, capture traces of excess and human anxiety. The hexagonal 'Cheater' works break free of the traditionally minimalist compositions of the 'Sliders' and 'Slivers', while the 'Lovers' works and others like them take on a traditional round mirror form, evoking the self-interested nature of contemporary internet culture.
Furthering :mentalKLINIK's transdisciplinary scope, in 2013 the duo organised a performative dinner at Istanbul Modern. Examining banqueting, food culture, and their associated social activities, 50 guests were invited to sit around tables decorated with a wax-covered motorcycle helmet. Under cinematic lighting and accompanied by music, they indulged in five different 'tastes' made by chef İskender Erocak according to a prescribed list of adjectives under the headings of smell, colour, texture, feeling, sound, and style.
Playing with child-like perceptions, as seen earlier in the 'Airless' sculpture series (2015), the duo's 'Some Time' series (2017) sees Time Magazine covers whimsically decorated with stickers. Appearing like something that could conceivably be found in the desk of a pre-teen, 'Some Time' consumes the serious world of politics contained within the magazine under a lens of colourful cartoon characters and emoji stickers.
In Bitter Medicine, a 2020 exhibition shown consecutively at Istanbul's Borusan Contemporary and the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, :mentalKLINIK offered a bitter pill to swallow in the void of museum spaces, shuttered and empty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. :MentalKLINIK's active installation PUFF OUT, live-streamed online 24/7, saw six robotic vacuum cleaners pre-programmed to detect dust moving about across a floor caked in colourful glitter.
As the robots moved, they created drawings and patterns, spreading the glitter around the empty museum space. These movements created a party atmosphere live on screen at a time when partying was ill-advised, if not outlawed, for the sake of public health.