İsmet Doğan


October 4 - November 18, 2018

C.A.M Gallery is hosting Ismet Dogan’s solo show with the series  ‘Autos’ and ‘Appropriation’, consisting of the artist’s fictionalised hybrid narration using a hybrid media. In these works Dogan ‘corrupts’ western art history interfering with production techniques. He describes the ‘Appropriation’ (art of taking possession) series as “I am appropriating the things that I’ve come across, that I was exposed to and interpreting them in a different way.”

“In man’s world everything has a name and things exist in it with their names.” says Bekir Avci and remarks that the ‘limits’ of this world is circumscribed by language. he thinks that the artist makes a nod to proportional representation with these works and says: “In Dogan’s ‘Autos’ series we see that what is natural is beyond the limitations of man. Dogan demonstrates this not only by changing their names but also by changing their places. This is highlighted by the way the names of the plants and insects have been pinned on them and spread over the maps. This is a recognition of the roots not accepting any limitations. Dogan, invites us to rebel against the norm by labelling what is yellow and mouldy as ‘called lemon’ or what has turned to dust as ‘called butterfly’.

Ismet Dogan was born in Adıyaman in 1957. He graduated from Marmara University  of Fine Arts in 1983  and then went to Paris with the scholarship of the French Government and stayed there for two years.. He returned to Turkey in the 90s and settled in Istanbul. In his first works in the 80s he raised questions by mixing history, culture, tradition and dadaism, technics, collage, montage, graffiti and ready-made objects. As a thinker he focused on the way the project of westernisation-modernisation gave birth to terror and trauma. His works expose the adoption of the Latin alphabet in early 20th century which brought about the language reforms together with the politicisation of the cultural reforms. According to Ismet Dogan it is these political undertakings that later were instrumental in bringing about the alienation of the people from its cultural heritage.

Words, letters and mirrors, randomly dispersed on his canvas represent Dogan’s works on the question of modernisation. In 2000s he adds a new critical perspective to his works by focusing on colonialism, approaching it with references from art history and cinematographic imagery. Ismet Dogan makes small changes by putting his own image in movie scenes by building a new identity with the characters whilst criticising the western visual culture. Now, mirrors become a principal material for Dogan. Using mat, clear and concave mirrors he invites the viewers to see themselves multiply into many and also become distorted.