Ekin Su Koç
Christoffer Egelund Gallery, Copenhagen
April 09 – May 01, 2021
The oeuvre of Ekin Su Koç is enlightened in the exhibition. With her skilled hand and multiple production methods, the gallery space becomes a canvas for a collage made of paintings, reliefs and wall sculptures. What stands out immediately is Ekin Su Koç’s take on “Adam and Eve”, compositions of various materials soaked in epoxy and the most recent series of textile wall sculptures named “Altbau”, leading us to inhale and digest the multidimensionality of an artist’s body of work. All the compositions are visibly appealing, detail oriented and with carefully selected colour palettes, yet the stories and worlds created here are not purely decorative.
Using technique of collage in its full proficiency the artist puts together materials she encounters on her life journey such as maps, photographs, fabrics, magazines. Ekin Su Koç recombines images and texts to analyze the popular culture and social constructs. She follows magnificently the path set out by the German Dadaist and pioneer of collage named Hannah Höch, who noted that “there are no limits to the materials available for pictorial collages – above all they can be found in photography, but also in writing and printed matter, even in waste products”. The use of white colour in the paintings and collages comes from Ekin Su Koç’s inspiration of American multidisciplinary artist Kiki Smith, who uses the delicate background in her figurative paintings of nature and body. Another influence on Su Koç’s oeuvre is Anselm Kiefer, on whom she based her Master’s thesis: “Anselm Kiefer: Form and Content’s Resources of His Art”.
The themes found in Ekin Su Koç’s artworks are of relatable nature, summoning the viewer to think of the ideas of beauty, identity, gender and the sense of being. The concepts derive from the artist’s personal experience as a female artist who left her country Turkey and settled down in a cultural metropolis – Berlin. The exhibition’s title – “On Earth, On Moon, On Mars” is a connection of the newest works (“Earth”) together with series she has been previously working on (“On Moon or Mars”), forming a new chapter of her creation.
The artist questions our relation to space and other planets with “On Moon or Mars” series. With the Anthropocene era fully in action and the impact of human behaviour on the planet and ecosystem she asks us: “What to carry to Moon or Mars with me?” – relating to the current lifestyle of having a social position and the possessions it brings with it. The reference to cultural heritage of humanity can also be spotted in her sculptures. She uses delicately produced, old handmade fabrics of Nomads from Turkey in her recent “Altbau” series. With these works she aims to reflect gender bias, patriarchal traces and east/west culture contrasts in everyday objects. She simply takes plaster moulds form Berlin’s architectural details that have the similar patterns as nomadic fabrics from Turkey.