ENTANGLEMENTS: Elmas Deniz on investigating human-nature relations in art

Leave No Stone Unturned: An Artistic Investigation of Human-Nature Relations

Elmas Deniz [Visual Artist]

20 May 2021, 20.00hrs CEST (Amsterdam time – please note the summer time)

Please register below to receive the Zoom link.

Elmas Deniz’ concept-driven works investigate the intersections and points of entanglement between economics and nature. She further focuses on the human-nature relationship, the idea of nature throughout history, and ecological concerns. The central concepts in her practice are the capitalism-led deterioration of nature, and our perception of it, as well as the related consumerist culture. She questions how the economic system continuously reshapes our perception through subtle but consistent manipulations. She sheds light on the illusional distribution of value. She investigates various modes of relations with non-human species. Currently, she is thinking about loss, extinctions, and geo-history.

Alongside introducing her selected artworks, Deniz will talk about how artistic research allows her to combine unlikely themes, situations, and notions about ‘nature’, as pursuing historic research in a subjective-artistic-critical way. Is it possible to consider artworks in the form of thought-works rendered as environmental philosophy? Her thought anchors such as ‘attention’, ‘politics of size’, ‘visibility”, “inclusion’ “law-making”, “human institutions” will be unfolded during the talk.

Her previous works in two Istanbul biennales will be the starting point of the talk, please see detailed information below quoted from the biennale guide books:

Lost Waters, 2019
History of a particular Nameless Creek, 2019 mixed media
“Elmas Deniz calls attention to ecological changes occurring with capitalism and the age of the Anthropocene. She examines the changing of the landscape and the deterioration of nature by humankind. Deniz is showing two works about disappeared flows of water. The first one is a three-dimensional topographic relief of Istanbul, spanning the area from Sisli to Taksim Square. On this relief, lost rivers and creeks are marked on the current roads. Deniz’s other piece centers on a creek near which she grew up, near Bergama. This wall installation, while focusing on the small and insignificant, calls attention to natural and human-caused environmental transformations and extinctions.”

Under the Panorama, 2012 [2015], Photo, sand, plastic bag.
“Her piece on display titled Under the Panorama (2012) is alluding to the problem of global waste that is becoming ever more relevant in our time, the work originates from the artist’s realization during a stroll along the Bosphorus that the amount of manmade material within the sand far exceeds the amount of natural stones. Beautiful views can be deceptive due to the human tendency to ignore what is out of sight, hidden, and not easily recognizable. The work illustrates this fact by rendering the invisible visible, and showing us what is at the bottom of the sea: garbage, indicated by sand and a nylon bin liner. This is where all consumption ends up, slowly suffocating us by filling up the sea, a breath of fresh air in a metropolis bustling with endless construction.”

Elmas Deniz (1981, Bergama, Turkey) lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey.
Her works have been included in the 16th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud (2019); the 14th Istanbul Biennial, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (2015); Colomboscope, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2017); the 5th Gyumri Biennial in Yerevan, Armenia (2006). Her works have been shown at Pera Museum, Istanbul;(2020) MOCAK–Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland (2019); Arter, Istanbul (2019); Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2016); Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris (2016); DEPO, Istanbul (2016); SALT, Istanbul (2015); SECESSION, Museumsquartier, Vienna (2013); La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille (2010); Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2009); and Platform Garanti CAC, Istanbul (2005). Her most recent solo exhibition has been ‘Three Hues of Water’ (2019) at Zilberman, Istanbul. She is also one of the co-founders of K2 Contemporary Art Center in Izmir, Turkey. She was awarded IASPIS Artist Grand (2014); Berlin Goethe Institute Cultural Grand (2007), and has been a resident at Pistoletto Foundation IT (2011); Sextant e Plus La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseilles, FR (2009); DIVA Copenhagen, DK (2008) and Vassl, Karachi, PK (2006), AIWA Lebanon(2005). Elmas Deniz graduated from Dokuz Eylul University, Department of Painting (2003) and Izmir Anatolian High School of Fine Arts(1998)

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