IS IT ALL ABOUT SHELTER?
Ebru Özseçen works in different artistic media, but her work is not about the possibilities and limitations of these techniques and formats. She is not a photographer, video artist, or installation artist who explores a specific medium, but uses many ways to find out and formulate what she is after. The basic concern underlying her artistic practice, the beating heart of her work, is an old probably the most primordial, and most humanly gesture: to shelter, to cover or hide to protect, such that things can grow unseen, and life can start anew over and over again. Looking for shelter is not the same as looking for roots, looking for a fixed place and stability, or for an identity. On the contrary. It is all about making space and time where things can slowly germinate, mature, come loose, and leave. Each beginning needs a refuge: a case or cover, a nest, a womb, a cavity, a shell. And it needs the basic gesture of putting down, entrusting, tucking in, fostering, and keeping watch. All things come into being from the dark. Origins are dark. This old and primitive gesture of care, though, does the opposite of what art, and certainly what modern and contemporary art seems to be all about: opening up, confronting, exhibiting, exposing. What can be done? One can try to hide the caring in art, as in a secret, hidden place.
The central theme of Ebru Özseçen's work is the necessity and the ambivalence of transparency, and even more: the violence inherent in transparency. This includes the function and meaning of hiding and masking, the reducing and even perverting of transparency and of the penetrating gaze. From transparency to translucidity to brilliance… All these belong to Özseçen's topics and material. In architecture: the facade and the container (the bowl, the vase, the box, the interior). In clothing: the veil, paint. In speech: proverbs, commonplaces, ornament. In life: daily gestures. See The Dish Washing Dreams, Beyoglu, Fading Lace, Glass Flowers…
Özseçen's solution – certainly an artistic shortcircuit that does not solve anything but functions as the core of her work – is a specific material: glass. Indeed: glass is transparent, and seems the perfect raw material to expose. Özseçen has made several works and films that confront directly and provoke the viewer. But she also indicates how the transparency is itself a material that has an origin. Its beginning is composed of the form of the drop – the dripping and the form of the drop (the egg, the tube) are the source of Özseçen's artistic language – and the breath that blows a void into the burning glass, and so creates the cavity – the bowl, the vase that will contain and carry something. The container is first: the glass pane that one uses because of its transparency and because one overlooks it, is made by cutting and flattening an envelope. And that is how Özseçen uses art, against the grain: not to expose and to confront more and more and to change things, but to hide and save the fostering. From the plateau of Presentation, emerging from the dark, and the drop bearing tree/lamps to the floor fully strewed with uteri of True Love Soul Mate.