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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Yesim Akdeniz

b. 1978, Turkey

Yesim Akdeniz paints fictive landscapes and interiors sparsely populated with a considered selection of objects and figures that have been severed from their original or natural settings.  The participants depicted in the  foreground are an esoteric ensemble that span from actors to recognisable elements from the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s, from George Ivanovich Gurdjieff’s esoteric vision of the development of man to much more prosaic household objects. The paintings are not portrayals of reality nor do they tell a story in a linier fashion, instead, with juxtaposed elements arranged in the foreground, they are reminiscent of stills from a film set or theatrical production.

Akdeniz’s use of visually distorted pictorial spaces, decontextualized subjects, a muted palette, and the prevalence of smooth and undetailed surfaces evokes the work of Italian proto-surrealist painter Giorgio De-Chirico.  Her subjects’ become symbols or reference points sown together to create a montage scene of references to contemporary culture. In Mr Jung and Me #1 [2014], a leopard, possibly stuffed possibly alive, balances on a log that is balanced on a table, while a partially concealed female peers at the viewer from behind a curtain. In Latent #1 [2013] two barely clothed women sit at a table in a cramped room, one slouched one upright but both looking directly at the viewer, while a conspicuously stiff and lifeless pair or legs protrude from behind them.  These enigmatic compositions of cryptic visual language are open to be deciphered by attentive viewers who can unpick their points of reference.

Akdeniz’s paintings are visually striking yet she describes herself as a conceptual painter due to the important role of analysis within her work as well as her creation of painting series that are interlinked by an underlying concept. By creating connections and associations through these juxtapositions and tracing connections between elements not normally connected, she creates moments of difficulty for her audience when understanding stops and thinking and knowledge meet a challenge.

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