Borusan Contemporary is kicking off the new season with an exhibition presented as a prescription for the art world, which was pushed to make drastic changes due to circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. “BITTER MEDICINE #02” by the Brussels-based artist duo :mentalKLINIK reveals an urgent perspective on the precautions taken for the sake of protecting public health.
:mentalKLINIK, comprising of Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir, interprets social dynamics through ultra-contemporary devices of an apparent lightness. The duo’s shows are a selection of their multifaceted approach to their universe. Resisting the limitations of a single vocabulary or style, their world is playful, full of hedonistic appeal that can be experienced as festive and glamorous. Their works shift between emotional and robotic attitudes. It is all the work of encryption to which they summon us, between the true and the false, the artificial and the superficial, as if everything were a case of falsification.
Beginning their collaborative practice in 1998, Baydar and Demir offer an infinite and unrepeated movement of a performative installation, curated by Dr. Necmi Sönmez, that streams 24/7 onto the digital realm in their latest show for Borusan Contemporary. The site-specific installation “Puff Out” has been placed in the main gallery of the Haunted Mansion, a historical structure in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district where the modern art museum organizes its activities. While Borusan Contemporary remains closed as a precaution against the virus, the exhibition is streaming non-stop through its website and social media channels. In addition, the installation will be broadcast on the screen installed in the window of Borusan Music House on Istiklal Avenue.
Made up of eight robot vacuums and glitter, “Puff Out” highlights the transformative impact of the pandemic on art as well as the emphasis Borusan Contemporary places on new forms of contemporary expression. While presenting a new visual experience, it also shows a novel perspective on the relationship between space, artwork and the viewer, which has changed under the current circumstances.
The momentary and sharp patterns created by the mission-oriented and autonomous motion of the installation robots on the colorful, shiny surface created by glitter are striking in terms of revealing the “state of ambiguity” we are confronted with today. The exhibition refers to the shifting rhythm of contemporary life, cracking open the door to a different “world” shaped by lights that emerge suddenly and quickly. This visual journey succeeds in drawing in viewers into the midst of “hyperrealism” abstracted from spatial elements and thus brings up the strongest tool of digital aesthetics, the sensibility of new beauty.
“BITTER MEDICINE #02” is a productive, questioning, provocative gesture against the ambiguity created by today’s surveillance equipment, technology and service-oriented subjectivities and data-driven lives. Designed as a series, the first version of the project was installed at the Belgrade Contemporary Art Museum, which was closed due to public health concerns, and streamed live 24/7 on the institution’s website between May 5 and June 30, 2020.
Borusan Contemporary functions as a multi-platform program of exhibitions, events, educational activities, new commissions and site-specific installations, all rooted in the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection. These activities are defined by their specific focus on broadly-characterized media arts such as those that work with time, light, technology, video, software and beyond. :mentalKLINIK's latest show will be available on the institution's website until Jan. 31, 2021.