Green Art Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition with the recent works by Kamrooz Aram, Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan and Ana Mazzei.
Kamrooz Aram’s work is rooted in the history and practice of painting, which he expands to include collage, photography, sculptural works and exhibition design. His work engages the complicated relationship between Modernism and ornament, often with reference to non-western ornamental art, which he sees as a parallel to painting. Aram’s work sets out to renegotiate the art historical hierarchy that places these ornamental artforms in a category of value beneath fine art.
Aram’s paintings explore the ornamental potential in abstraction, while challenging the notion of ornament as superfluous form. His sculptural works evoke the display strategies of museums, especially those which house so called decorative arts. His recent exhibitions often function as works in their own right. Combining painting, sculpture, collage and exhibition design, he creates an interdependence between object and display, in an effort to reveal the significance of design and architecture in affecting the interpretation of art objects.
This work was commissioned by Yarat Art Centre in Baku, as part of their exhibition Fragile Frontiers: Visions on Iran’s in/visible borders ( 22 Nov 2019 – 16 Feb 2020).
Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck’s artworks are connected to current political events, which he uses to question propaganda strategies employed to convey values such as freedom, prosperity, security, and utopia, interweaving these principles with oil policies and global economic ties. Working in a variety of media, including photography, film, installation, and found materials, his discourse juxtaposes disparate elements from a variety of disciplines and sources in order to contextualize historical problems, from the Cold War to oil exploitation in present-day circumstances.
The collage series “All the Lands from Sunrise to Sunset” (2018) was first commissioned and exhibited at the 2019 Sharjah Biennale. In this work, Balteo-Yazbeck has collaged and assembled materials and topics from advertising, propaganda, the news, social media, sleek technologies and even interior design. Here, different iterations of this age-old maxim evoke the evolution of hubris for more than four thousand years up until the present, including the old British characterization of the empire – “the empire on which the sun never sets”. Spelled in extremely colorful collages and encoded as hashtags or email addresses such as #fosilfuel, these collage works resemble cut-out-letter ransom notes.
Hera Büyüktaşçıyan‘s Terrestrial I – II – III (2019) is a drawing series that explores the notion of land, territory and erasure of the remnants of time caused by ruptures of complex histories.
By using archival photographs from archeological excavations of the city of Pergamon*, the work explores the relationship between power and architecture, disappearance and reconstruction, scale and representation. Within the photographs, villagers who work in the excavations of Pergamon are documented in to measure the physicality and monumentality of each site in contrast to their existence. These scenes becomes a reference to the artist whilst looking into cross sections of what is physical and virtual and the axes between representation of power and its destructive elements… as well as what it leaves behind as a reminder of time. Through photographic images the piece not only retraces history and time but also studies these traces by unfolding their invisible borders and enable them to become the embodiment of erased topographies or the abstraction of missing spaces and architectural fragments. The mosaic like surface rubbed with graphite allows the representation of time and space to dissolve into an uncanny formation and become a cartographic reflection of lost /forgotten physical and mental spaces.
Men and narratives, in their inseparable relationships, define Ana Mazzei’s interest. It is from this perspective that her work develops and grows.
For Mazzei, art, architecture and landscapes construct, in themselves, a fiction that connects them, resulting in installations, settings and objects. Beyond the formalist exercises, these floor objects invoke unidentified stories that suggest hidden and impenetrable archetypal structures. This dual movement, suggesting and retaining the symbolic value of the objects, is recurrent in her practice.
Her artworks are like pieces and fragments of myths, lives and fictions that are represented in drawings, videos, sculptures and installations. At other times, her works function as observation devices framing this vast repertoire from a specific point of view. Focusing on a widely experimental practice, the artist appropriates different sensorial materials, such as felt and concrete, connecting to the environments in which she works.
*The city of Pergamon, now Bergama in Turkey, has experienced many fluxes throughout history, from its loss of cultural heritage through colonialism, the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe, and mostly recently the rapid urban and demographic transformation due to neo-liberal political agendas.