OktemAykut is pleased to present Arslan Sukan’s first solo show at the new Istanbul gallery. Sukan, known for his conceptual photographs will be showing thirty-two works from Sukan’s new series of “paintings” based on public and private sphere.
In his recent work, Sukan has set out to identify alternative sites of public display and common space within the banal recesses of the everyday world. Collecting and adopting the sketch pads and papers that customers use for testing markers, pens and other drawing tools at art supply stores through years, from different cities around the world, Sukan considers how these test sheets serve as a vehicle for both intimate and exhibitionist performance as well as original social documents. In the improvised layers of sketches, doodles and drawings that fill the pages, Sukan sees the documents of a ritual that approximates the practices of graffiti art but makes no allowance for participation in a common culture. Unlike palimpsest or open-sourced editing platforms where history can be scraped clean and updated, the sketch pages collapse past and present straddling the line between private notation and public expression.
Treating the inscribed pages of these test pads as found objects, Sukan, scans and enlarges the sheets he collects and reproduces them at their expanded scale with an inkjet printer. For Sukan, these marks, are visible, yet invisible and their anonymity makes it difficult to locate the authorship and creative act. Sukan’s work questions the role of the artist in relation to a public sphere that often exists as a collection of the individual voices rather than a shared form of experience. His transformation of these sketch-filled pages suggests that while the artist offers another voice, it is one capable of giving form to that which litters the surface of the things.