Guerra de la Paz: Travelogue (Seyahatname) / Artane, Istanbul

Artane Gallery is a rather new gallery in Istanbul / Turkey, just a few steps away from the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Director Sevil Sert worked as a fashion and portrait photographer in the 80’s and 90’s. After some years in Cuba, she opened Artane Gallery in Istanbul in 2005.

Currently, Artane is presenting new work by the Cuban-born artists Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, the Miami-based collaborative duo Guerra de la Paz.

For their show in Istanbul, Guerra de la Paz created a series of digital decollage photographs, titled “Travelogue (Seyahatname)”, and a site-specific installation, “Hanging Garden”. (Excerpts from the press release after the jump).

In this video we meet with the owner of the gallery, Sevil Sert, and the two artists, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, who talk about their current exhibition.

Guerra de la Paz: Travelogue (Seyahatname) / Artane, Istanbul / Turkey. September 9, 2009. The exhibition runs until October 31, 2009.

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“Travelogue is an autobiographical journey into our psyche via the photo-documentation of environments and experiences in our travel history during the last two years. We refer to our personal archive of snapshots as a raw material to create digital décollages that metaphorically serve as a testament to what may at times have felt like a contemporary nomadic existence. These photos capture the visual stimulation in a heightened sense of awareness that the unfamiliarity of our surroundings provide while influencing our memory of people, places and things.
We construct to deconstruct – turning realism into abstraction through a process of layering and superimposing imagery, allowing us to bring forth chosen images as longer lasting impressions, while others fade into background – as most memories do with the passing of time. Insinuating a visual dialogue that explores how information is recorded and stored in our minds. A montage of recollections where clear detail coexists with faded nuances.”
“Hanging Garden, 2009, is a site-specific installation where over 100 floral patterned found garments suspended from the ceiling create a three dimensional expanding garden landscape.

The materials remain the same but the composition is adaptable and is easily reconfigured to exist in a variety of environments. The installation at Artane uses architectural niches to suggest windows to the outdoors. This textile montage captures the same conceptual formula of layering actuality to create abstractions also used to create our Travelogue photographs.

The installation references the energies associated with abstract expressionist paintings of the 40’s and 50″s, where each garment becomes like a brush stroke on the gallery’s architecture. Environment becomes our canvas. The clothing used in this installation was collected within the proximity of our studio in Little Haiti, Miami from the local Pepe(Haitian rag trade) businesses. These discarded items of clothing deemed for landfill were laundered and packed into an expandable suitcase and checked in along with personal luggage to Istanbul. Once in Istanbul we visited Fatih í‡arşamba Pazarı. This was our final source for an array of remnant textiles that together with the found garments are recycled and transformed into an art work. We aimed to explore our subjective emotional expression with the emphasis of creative spontaneity associated with action painting.

This piece is a site-specific installation where the materials remain the same but the composition is adaptable to the space.”