Objects such as plain white bottles and tiles are cast and/or decorated in resonance with the traditions of the pre-modern Near East (Seljuq, Ottoman and Safavid). Sometimes they are dashed on the floor – a violent act captured by the artist in a short video installation – and a selection of the shards are then reassembled and decorated. In “Broken II” irregularly broken ceramic pieces have been perpendicularly reassembled in a three-dimensional square panel. Utilizing the medium of floral-decorated stonepaste, this work connects to the traditional ceramics and the colorful, decorative patterns created throughout the centuries in the Islamic world. The prominence given to roses relates especially to the Ottoman period and Iznik ceramics more specifically, wherein this flower appears prominently alongside tulips, hyacinths and carnations, all of which are rendered in a stylized, rather than naturalistic, manner of those in “Broken II.” This method of deconstructing a traditional Turkish art form or medium – then reassembling it into a contemporary object calls both to the artistic Ottoman and Islamic heritage and questions the idea of “what is art?” – Bingöl’s counter to Marcel Duchamp’s concept of “ready-made art.”
The artist’s practice is an interrogation of belonging, culture, identity, decoration and failure by blurring the boundaries between these seemingly distinct notions. They are psychological landscapes that hover between abstraction and representation, seduction and repulsion, adoption and preservation that both embrace and disregard Eastern and Western traditions. They are not only both questioning and expanding the Western canon but also inviting the viewer to a re-consideraton of the distinction between art vs. Craft and high vs. Low. Working with sculptures, drawings, video, photography and installation, her work is a constant investigation of materials and objects where the repetitive act is formulated by merging fiction and failure. Burçak Bingöl’s sixth solo exhibiton Mythos & Utopia will take place at Zilberman Gallery Istanbul between February and April 2017.