Study for “Nebula Rich Part of the Sky”


The statements by Yağız Özgen in the text below are quoted from the booklet prepared as an annex to the exhibition titled “A Bit of Unruly Complexity” curated by Misal Adnan Yıldız.

“In the exhibition, I will be applying some of the sketches, instructions and drafts I have made for a potential mural to a wall in the gallery that has been spared for this work. I find it crucial to think about how the time and space I am in is organized when creating an image to represent objects in our environment or issues in our minds. Often when I paint, I think about how time and space are organized, instead of thinking about the content of the painting, what kind of changes occur in time and space in the meantime. For this reason, I try not to separate the environmental components of the process of painting from the painting itself. The work in the exhibition has a similar approach. It consists of components that are not seen as “part of the painting” in the traditional sense: instructions that symbol- ize the situations a hypothetical painter is supposed to find themselves in when painting a mural, sketches representing the area where the painting would be done, formulas to be applied to achieve the intended colors, and paint stains left over from experimentation.

Study for “Nebula Rich Part of the Sky” 2022
278 x 435 cm, pencil and acrylic on wall

For me, the ability to approach the objects in our environment in a non-differentiating and indifferent manner is crucial when doing art. I try to take this further in every other exhibition. I am mindful when I approach the ac- id-free paper, the wooden brackets, the leftover nails, the moldy leftover paint, the threads hanging over the edge of the canvas, a quickly scribbled formula, the packing tape, and the verbal events about them in the same way that I am when approaching the painting. Of course, there is no limit to this.

But when I am mindful enough, I realize that a painting is not an entity to REPRESENT the complex nature of the world; on the contrary, it is itself another complex to EXEMPLIFY the complex nature of the world. Thus the painting is no longer a static object, but a dynamic network. Just like the larger complexes of which it is a component. It is not a static thing whose meaning does not change when its space and time alter, but rather a sequence of events the meaning of which does change with space and time. Every time I focus on where this pattern begins and ends, I encounter ambiguous boundaries. My work in the exhibition aims to point to these ambiguous boundaries in that I am not sure where the painting begins and ends.

The term “complex” has been used across many different contexts in many different terminologies. Since I am highly interested in the natural sciences and analytic philosophy of science, my remarks are based on the definition of the term within this tradition. Complex means to me an aggregate (of masses) that performs a derivative function which individual parts do not possess. This can be a simple table with a support and a top, just like it can be the organization of a workshop, a family, or a sudden change in the weather. The aggregate is not supposed to be a static object; it can be a series of events, as long as it fulfills a derivative function that the components do not have separately. I realize that my answer is very general, but basically I think that when we make art we are asking questions about these kinds of things that look simple at first glance, but turn out to be highly complex when paid close attention.”