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Play Revisited (installation view)

Play Revisited
Haroldo Higa | Ardan Özmenoğlu

Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch  

The exhibition Play Revisited focuses on a re-interpretation of play. Play as encounter, action, activity, competition, but also winners and losers, childhood and dreams. Each play has a beginning and an end, it could be seen as a collective or non-collective action, mostly arbitrary. Considering play as a game means that there are rules, different levels, and repetition of some acts within a certain time-space frame. But, why play revisited? It means to redefine and adapt the role of play to one’s creative activity and purposes.

Haroldo Higa (Lima, 1969) uses tin toys as a means to express his thoughts as an adult man. They are reflections on fragile reality mixed with some taste of humour and irony. The series of prints entitled Tin Toys are influenced by the book 1000 Tin Toys by Teruhisa Kitahara (Taschen Ed.), in which old tin toys from mid twentieth century are portrayed. Collection’s toys with brilliant colours and metallic surfaces, usually registered as childhood memories, are presented in black and white xylographies which re-interpret the original context. With the group of sculptures Souvenirs Cremosos, the artist re-sizes the original small souvenirs in large scale sculptures, which give the small gifts an importance and strengthens its meaning. These sculptures are based on indigenous and Spanish based religion still visible in Andean Peruvian culture. Originally, they used to be ritual objects that have become typical souvenirs and have lost their original purpose through mass production. 

In Haroldo´s works, these objects lose their original value due to the material in which they have been created: expanded polystyrene, for industrial and domestic use, synthetic, artificial, light and fragile. Haroldo says: “In this material I found the soft, the fragile, the volatile, the insignificant, the human”. The material used for mass production becomes unique through individual sculptures. 

Turkish artist Ardan Özmenoğlu (Ankara, 1979) creates her own original work by referring to mass production. Post-it screen prints with famous faces are displayed on a wall as a huge coloured pattern. The artist plays with the role of women in history of art: a portrait of Warhol´s Marilyn, Frida Kahlo, or da Vinci´s Gioconda. Furthermore, Ardan puts herself in the same spot of a huge number of small post-it notes. Through serialisation technique faces become blurry, insignificant, anonymous. Repetition intensifies the faces and with this they are, at the same time, visible and invisible. 

Her sculptures are also based on the same technique, in this case through several layers and prints glass prints. There is a relationship from two dimensional (printed surface) to three dimensional (glass surface). The surface is the visible support, but also part of the image. It is also a fragmented surface of transparency and semi transparency through many layers, which act as a whole in the serialisation. Ardan´s installations play with the space and the interstices of architecture. The unique image is not important, the collective grouping makes them visible as a whole image. In Ardan´s paper installation, the wall is the canvas, post-its are not just notes, they reveal the face of the whole image. 

Exhibition: April 4th – May 10th, 2008
Galerie IAC-Berlin

curatorial text EN ]

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