What on Earth 1970-2020

In 1970 ‘Earth Day’ was established by a generation of people who were aware of the delicacy of the balance of nature and the effects of pollution on the environment. Under the shadow of the Vietnam War, (Catch 22, [J Heller, novel published ’51 – Film ’70]), the feminist movement, de colonialisation of Africa, protest and civil disobedience grew. Many of the protests were against the increasing industrialised pollution, petrol polluting transportation, growing cities, urban spread, dehumanised industrial farming systems, rapid disappearance of rain forests, and the rise in armaments industries of the ‘cold war’.

But when the iconic and enduring image of a small beautiful blue Earth rising over the Moon’s grey desolate horizon was observed and photographed (by heroic astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders) from the US spacecraft Apollo 11, millions of people realised how tiny and fragile our planet was within the immense blackness of space. This image of ‘Earth’ quickly became the lasting symbol for ‘Earth Day’ – a movement supported over the decades by ecologists, scientists, politicians, pacifists, humanists… ‘Earthday’ continues to remind us that no matter how vocal and active people are – the same ecological problems which threatened the planet in the 1960s still persist.

Is the latest Covid-19 epidemic a bleak reminder of how nature responds when it’s under attack or is it the result of an imbalance in the nature which suits us as humans but which has in turn created the condition which triggers the evolution of a living organism that could supersede human beings?
Is this our ‘dinosaur moment’?

In our ‘social distancing’ behind the large pink gates of AND eventSpace we are considering the next move. Moving on from several discussions, exhibitions and investigations on geo-environmental, architectural and social issues we’ve held over the past few years AND eventSpace remains open for creative intervention…
‘Earth Day’ is a synchromatic hook upon which we can hang our hat.

One thought on “What on Earth 1970-2020

  1. Artist’s name: Adem Genç
    Work discriptioo: OAcrylic and oil on canvas, 132×160 cm. 2017
    Title: “Hidden Wonderland”

    Artist’s Own Statement
    “… In my painting, I think I want to consider the question of the modernity in artistic expression, -I mean the practice of avantgarde modernization- in a theory that also includes, to some extent, aesthetic and ‘Anti-Art’ pragmatism. İn my pinion art and art criticism is a sophisticated process for the emancipation of the mind. So, I personally agree with the content analysis and evaluations of my paintings in terms of the expression of this sufi sensibility or the expression of this sentiment, together with the forms of perception that govern the basic codes and hierarchy of universal culture . After this theoretical preliminary explanation, I would like to state a few lines related the theme of my “Hidden Wonderland”, which I sent to “Earth-1970-2020” event: Hidden Wonderland is an unknown imaginary space anywhere in the universe; in an ocean as well as in a sacred pond. Offering metal coin into sacred water or floating message thrown into the rivers and offshore has been the subject matter of this abstraction that water gushing from the depths of the soil, rocks and mountains is considered as the gift of the gods in many myths, legends and sacred sources, as it believed to radiate the healing power of the eternal.

    Adem Genç,
    İstanbul, May 5, 2020

    Tubular Shells Discarded Objects and Formal Stability (*)

    By. Adrian Martinez

    “….In his recent paintings Adem Genc illustrate wrinkled, sharp-grooved surfaces with vaguely organic associations and smooth cylindrical rods, or perhaps “tubular shells” without resorting to academic illusionism. The latter usually dominate the painting and give it a formal stability. On the other hand the dramatic features search for a reality in the
    painting testifying to a flow of comprehension. The artists vigilance discourages the logic of a merely pictorial unity. Genç’s careful intellectual stance adds tension to the fragmented unity of the form, but he does not stop here. Genc reverses the situation with expressionist spaces and gestures, geometrical forms and descriptive images. These measurable rods or
    pipe-like tubes can not indicate this or that object, they can only bring associations to it. Put another way, this choice: adopting the given conception of modernist integrity paradoxically implies a representative identity. But here, precisely where the forms and the pictorial mechanism can not control this ambiguity of meaning they are ultimately forced to assert themselves because the painter acted simultaneously with both intemperate sensualism and an intellectual frugality….” “….In his work Genç seems to be saying that the discussions above could never resolve themselves in any fruitful way, so he’s attempted free them (and himself) from a game of dueling paradigms. The oeuvre is not ignored but it is not made sacerdotal either. Gathered together in a relationship of dynamic unity, moment by moment the painter regains the right to give improvised contextual guidance. Entropy functions naturally in Dadaism, but for Genç it is a type of aesthetic legality which comes through his historical, scientific and epistemological concerns about the probity of art.The painter is at our side, insistently telling us something that will disturb our consideration. We must listen to him if we hope to have relevant conclusions concerning his oeuvre.”

    Dadaist Abnegation (*)
    By. Adrian Martinez, 2008

    The painting clearly identifies some contours in itself but these contours will be lost in any attempt to immobilize them. On the one hand the painting deviates from the imprisonment of modernist dogma and on the other it searches for traction against Dadaist abnegation. The work endures this abnegation without making itself into a cult object and without
    reducing itself into irrelevance. Individual paintings can be appreciated as various conditions of an experience instead of a particular experience. In this regard, Genç guarantees his own state of existence i.e. historical and artistic personality. The painter dominates the terminology. Kant claims that our perception is related to our method of knowing not
    with our knowledge about things, (thing-in-itself/ding an sich.) With a parallel reading, it is understandable that the modernist “Pure Oeuvre” is an aggressive desire to penetrate and represent without any limits this contradictory improvisation inevitably becomes “saturated”. At this saturation point, the painter carries the context to another level of reading instead
    of changing conceptual “instruments” or the logic of a particular pictorial mechanism. Finally, it is the painter with his historical personality who returns to a place of sensation from a static conceptually oriented existence.

    (*) Martinez, Adrian (2011). Adem Genç Exhibition Catalogue, Contemporary İstanbul Arete Art Gallery Publication.

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