grace of another world. group show

31 Oct 2015 – 17 Dec 2015

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Istanbul, Turkey


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“I’m trying to tell you something so small that I fear I might harm it in the process.” Christian Bobin


The exhibition takes its title from a sentence in Gilles Deleuze’s Image-Mouvement, the first book of his two-volume study on film aesthetics. At a point where he discusses movement within a dual system of subjective and objective perception, Deleuze mentions the relationship French cinema forges with water as witness to its discovery of this subjectivity. Water, he says, is a medium that can distinguish movement itself from that which is moving; we can divest mobility from movement; the abstract fluidity of water is able to create for us the environment of a person who belongs to a different world than the earthly person; it is as if movement in water calls on the “grace of another world”. 

Ulus Baker refers to this quote while explaining the concept of point of view in his Art and Desire seminars, and tries to clarify the grace inherent in being from another world by giving examples from animals and again by going back to the opposition of land and water. When a swan, he says, goes out of its own element, which is water, and starts to waddle on land, this flaw fascinates us; we certainly do not pity it. The tottering walk appeals to us because it is graceful. The swan brings us a kind of grace or radiance from its own world. It is with this very appeal and curiosity of an over and other world that the affect we can describe as philia, that is friendship or love begins. “We do not need to understand this state of being from another world in order to like it – just as the fascination an image incites in us when we look at a painting takes place a lot before we actually understand it.” 

This is the grace of being able to always approach with doubt what we have perceived with our senses since birth, and what we have appropriated since we defined ourselves by the boundary we drew between ourselves and the world we live in, instead of accepting them as absolute truths. It is the state of being taken aback as a result of one’s respect in the shadow of the unknown for the different worlds with which one comes in contact, and of the shame one feels of the possible weight of one’s existence, as being of another world has one traversing a space of freedom – it is one’s trying to live perhaps with a tinge of embarrassment in this middle area between one’s world and other worlds, between one’s presence and the violence this exerts on the other. We think that artists’ being-between-worlds is such an existence. Therefore, we are talking of worlds that come into being and disappear as fast as they came, and of the grace of not having unconditional faith in what the eye can see in this world of representation where whatever lies behind is occluded from view to the extent that materiality gets expressed, and where what is visible corresponds with the truth through momentary sensations but does not last. The grace of being able to roam around between reason and non-reason, meaning and non-meaning with the meticulous silence of a spider, of being happy in the arms of spontaneity; of something that has nothing to do with a series of socialization devices developed as a means to be polite or refined and involving the domination of the body through its codification. 

With works by Yağız Özgen,Ayşe Bezenmiş,Merve Şendil, Yavuz Erkan, Serra Behar, Gümüş Özdeş, Eda Gecikmez, Erhan Özışıklı, Güneş Çınar, Emrah Altınok 

curated by Nihan Çetinkaya 


Nihan Çetinkaya


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