Such a perspective brought to the fore the issue of looking which Sayın's works subtly explore in this exhibition. For the nineteenth century, noblemen and women who embarked on grand tours and traveled to the Alps such sights were common knowledge. Artists like Friedrich captured those travelers in a pose of looking at nature in awe. Nowadays, in the age of selfies and obsession with self-portrait, such views of nature are a bit forgotten.
"The passion caused by the great and sublime in nature, when those causes operate most powerfully, is astonishment," Edmund Burke wrote in his classic 1757 treatise, "A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful", adding: "and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror. In this case the mind is so entirely filled with its object, that it cannot entertain any other, nor by consequence reason on that object which employs it. Hence arises the great power of the sublime, that, far from being produced by them, it anticipates our reasoning, and hurries us on by an irresistible force. Astonishment, as I have said, is the effect of the sublime in its highest degree; the inferior effects are admiration, reverence, and respect."
My favorite work in Sayın's show depicts a life guard tower which stands lonely among the waves washing along a deserted beach. The image is filled with feelings of obscurity and danger: what has happened here, one wonders, has someone just died on this beach? Where is the life guard? Is it winter? Where did everyone go? Those questions about 'what happened' lead to a second set of speculative ones: 'what can happen here in the future?'
"To make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary," Burke wrote. "When we know the full extent of any danger, when we can accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes. Everyone will be sensible of this, who considers how greatly night adds to our dread, in all cases of danger, and how much the notions of ghosts and goblins, of which none can form clear ideas, affect minds which give credit to the popular tales concerning such sorts of beings."
This way, darkness and obscurity become tools of control, providing the artist with a great advantage and power over the viewer. Burke writes about ceremonies held "in the bosom of the darkest woods, and in the shade of the oldest and most spreading oaks" -those events owed their power to their obscure settings. It is precisely this power dynamic, what Burke refers to as "the secret of heightening, or of setting terrible things ... in their strongest light, by the force of a judicious obscurity," that Sayın's landscapes explore in this intriguing show.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.