Anna Laudel Contemporary presents a solo exhibition that brings together an intriguing selection of paintings, installations, videos, sculptures, carpets and weavings, produced between 2013-2018 by the acclaimed, young contemporary artist Ramazan Can.
In his works, Ramazan Can investigates the issues of modern life by establishing connections between past and present and presents forgotten anecdotes from “primitive” traditions. Inspired by Shamanism, rituals, totems, Anatolian traditions and mythology, “Once Upon a Time…” invites the audience to witness and experience Can’s journey into his mind and childhood memories.
The artist states that the traditional treatment rituals that had been used for his ailment in his childhood have been the main source of his inspiration. As a result of his research on these rituals, Can finds out that these treatment methods can be traced back to Shamanism, which is the belief system in Anatolia before the arrival of Islam. The connection between Shamanism and Islam, which still exists today, has led the artist approach modern problems with a Shamanist perspective.
Ramazan Can describes his works mainly through concepts of his identity, memory and time and focuses on the region that he was born in and the stories of the people who were once nomadic and then had settled in the land. Inspired by Andreas Huyssen who is a cultural critic known for his essays on memory and amnesia, Can investigates the threshold between remembering and forgetting and helps us build a bridge to link the past with the present.
This methodology of the artist, which is used to find answers to current issues, also allowed him to compare the modern and the primitive and produce series of works where he uses the practices of primitive traditions to explain today’s conflicts.
Opened on Thursday, March 1st, “Once Upon a Time…” features Can’s works produced in the last five years with the themes of death and life; body and spirit; rituals and totems; Shamans and Demonism.
The exhibition is being held across three floors of exhibition space at Anna Laudel Contemporary in Istanbul until 20 April 2018.