Prof. Dr. İsmail Tunalı, "Reflections on an Exhibition", 2009

(Professor of Aesthetics Philosophy)

(Published in Genç Sanat Art Magazine, February 2009)
         Nazan Azeri’s exhibition titled “That Which Can Not Cover” has an interesting characteristic compared to a large scale of exhibitions that range from art to antiart.  This characteristic is mostly concretized in the melancholy and pessimism evoked in the audience that view the paintings.
 These large scale paintings, painted with acrylic on canvas, portray a shredded woman’s cloth spread over a tree and its droughty branches. All paintings are named after this shredded clothing:  “My Mother’s Wedding Dress”. These paintings, which constitute a minimalist work, construct an architectural structure with its their black and white contrast, and thus create a pictorial value. However, this minimalist structure based on a tree with drought branches and a shredded clothing, lead us to an intellectual and emotional sub-structure.
A sub-structure where existence and non-existence is questioned. Human beings add a world that pertain to themselves in order to be able to grasp the world in which they live in and exist as such an existential being. However, it is inevitable for existence to eventually go out of existence. Nazan Azeri’s paintings clearly aim to display, in a tangible way, the conversion of existence to non-existance with the shredded dress and the tree with its drought branches.  A deep sensation of pain, melancholy and pessimism accompanies this exhibition. We experience this pain and this drama of existence via Nazan Azeri’s paintings with a feeling of pessimism.
The reason for this drama is the great metamorphosis experienced in the beginning of the 20th century in science and philosophy. M. Planck's "quantum" and Einstein's "relativity" theories have shaken the concepts that begun with Newton and shaped the logic of the modern age. In philosophy, J.P. Sartre and Camus have displayed this impact as a pessimist view of the world. When these are combined with Nietzche's aphorism which claims that "God is dead", the European civilization based on the existence of God moves towards pessimism with a great breakdown.
We witness a reflection of this universal pessimist world view in Nazan Azeri’s paintings. This pessimism makes it harder for the audience to create a rapport between themselves and paintings but it must also be mentioned that it is also this pessimism that gives the paintings their depth.