Beyond The Apparent
A Selection from the Art Collection of The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey
The apparent is merely the reflection of one’s sense of morality. One cannot know to what extent this holds true. But there is only one thing for certain: it is art that has adopted this view rather than morality.
Malik Aksel, Hisar, 1957
The exhibition titled “Beyond the Apparent” can also be perceived as an archaeological endeavor, a revisiting or an essay on the harmony between the apparent and what lies beyond it within the constraints of works selected from the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) Art Collection which were considered to be in relation with art historiography, as well as the nature and source of existing information. The title serves to rethink, over the exhibition of a collection, the fundamental views that determine discussions on modern/contemporary art and art historiography in Turkey, as well as the desire to elucidate the processes rather than glorifying or criticizing certain periods.
The word “Suret”, carries different meanings such as “appearance, figure, drawing, duplicate, copy, photograph, mode, style”, corresponding to the apparent and perceived aspect of existence in Islamic philosophy. “Siret”, on the other hand, defines a person’s sensible, invisible, abstract and spiritual state, behavior, nature, morals, emotions and character; whatever that lies beyond the apparent. In this regard, this exhibition can be surmised that the desire to revisit a collection as part of an exhibition is associated with the “modern and beyond” appearance of the “1950-2000” exhibition held by the CBRT in 1994 to share its collection with the public. The main variables of this relationship and its cornerstones constitute the main problematics of the exhibition’s narrative. For this reason, the main idea behind the narrative is to question, through retrospection, the meaning of the CBRT Art Collection with respect to the date on which it was created and registered, the discussions it proposes and how it is positioned within art history, and focusing on how written and unwritten history was created rather than building on art history.
The Beyond the Apparent exhibition has been regarded as a way to think about the extent to which the works will transcend their own times, what they would mean to people who interpret artworks and history in different periods, and come up with new prejudices and questions to counter our existing prejudices that function as biases forcing us to open up to the world. In a sense, there is always the possibility to produce another view of the invariance of judgment or prejudice, by historicizing or not historicizing the works and ideas that make up the collection through today's value judgments.
The Beyond the Apparent exhibition was largely curated by using works selected from the “1950-2000” exhibition, which was opened seventeen years ago. Curated and authored by Zeynep Yasa Yaman, the exhibition featured 61 works from 36 artists born between 1905 and 1960.
Beyond the Apparent