Artist:  Başak Kaptan

Curated by Lewis Johnson



Başak Kaptan’s solo exhibition “Arboretum” curated by Lewis Johnson will be on view from 15th December till 15th January at REM Art Space.

By treating “Arboretum” as a man-made rural landscape, Kaptan intervenes to make room for different works generating a new space for thinking. The artist aims to unveil repressions of political and social processes of the recent past using a visual vocabulary deriving from picturesque material that does not, however, depend on color or design.
A digital print series is constituted out of watercolor papers that are cut through and burnt by CNC laser machine, showing landscapes of branches and trunks of trees which the artist has come across mostly in and around the city of Mardin. The force enacted by the purportedly accurate burning of the machine, embodied in the technique, exposes a contrast with the fragility of the paper. Relations between emptiness and fullness, edge and tip, limits and the infinite are communicated across these divergent surfaces, forged through drawings of different trees at different times. In these branches and trunks, drawn tracing the path of a certain grief, a silent lament deep in the earth and land, the difficulties of the vastnesses of distance, orientation and affect are suggested.
Also in this exhibition, a video work reworks another translation of nature through which the artist pursues a sense of the moment after her encounter with children of district playing war games, throwing pinecones at each other as if they were hand grenades. In the video, deriving from a recording of pinecones crashing onto a wall and breaking apart, but repeating, the wall clouds and is erased, as the backgrounds in the digital prints of the drawings of tree branches are erased.
“Arboretum” is an exhibition in which the artist’s work following an apparently taciturn seriality of moves creates divergent but resonant surfaces when brought together; it addresses nature through the tactile, as well as the visual, avoiding traditional notions of the emotional, while making room for an understanding of its reach and power.

For more information about the exhibition, please contact :