The path extending from the ‘‘Self’’ to the universe is my own body; so much and so nothing.
According to the Ancient Greek poet Hesiodos, one of the creators of the mythological cosmogony and theogony, there is chaos at the origin of Earth’s creation. At the same time, chaos is cosmic harmony itself. Relapsing of this understanding, from Hermes to Orpheus, into a myth of creation and belief, transforms nature into a mysterious world. In such a world, it is originated from man’s own nature that ritual and talisman have been inspiring the spiritual tendencies. A human being is part of natura naturans; trying to give meaning to what s/he experiences between nature itself and his/her own subjectivity. Art is a natural form of activity, which makes visible this process of signification and sublimation of meaning.
Remembering, and the desire to be remembered, is the outcome of a behaviour that requires leaving a trace. Starting as a line until it becomes a form imitating nature, the trace has always come into being as the manifestation of a sense of elevation. Then the sound and the resonance. From the wind’s whistle to symphonies, from a shaman’s invocation to hymns, the music that rises over the complicated emotions of worship, dedication and liberation...like painting music continued feeding from the mysterious relationship of man’s harmony with nature. In his book ‘‘Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?’’ (2009), Jean Baudrillard emphasizes a reference to the monotheistic creation myth, “There was word in the beginning. Then silence appeared.’’ This is a misconception. In fact, it is the word that caused the deterioration of silence. There was silence in the beginning, then word appeared. ‘‘There is no longer anything to be called as the end’’, adds the same philosopher. However, both the beginning and the end are the accelerating generators of the same cycle and, like a reflection in a mirror, they proliferate in each other. When man perceives the beginning and the end as a duality like birth and death, s/he begins to question what life means and to design the gods. This is where we have to seek the beginning of art (art’s arche).
This arche is what concerns me; the first untouched state of art; as a matter of fact, the state before it becomes art. As an artist, my location in time and space – an-arche – originates from a situation that is neither the first nor the original. Like Klee seeking music in painting on a two dimensional surface adorned with abstract symbols, I too search for music and harmony. The ritualism in paintings and installations can be reconciled with orphic spirituality. My works are as old and anachronistic as the ancient quest for harmony with nature because I believe that thinking within the boundaries of present time creates a cognitive situation contradictory to art.
Orphism is a term that is used to describe the compositions of the cubism artists, based on colour harmony. I believe that the paintings I produce completely correspond with orphic art. We can metaphorically perceive the reflection of Hermetic and Orphic dualism in the ritual paintings, adorned with abstract symbols inspired by nature and constructed within motifs concerning a calligraphic system and musicality. My paintings (either with paints or objects) feature an esoteric fiction that always evokes talisman and spell. You can also see in my installations that I proceed with the same tendencies. The pictures that I took comprise objects transformed into painting constructed with the same approach. In fact, it would be more accurate to call them the pictures that I ‘made/constructed’ rather than ‘took’. Objects and space in the pictures, which I interfere with digital instruments, abandon their own reality and move into a metaphysical dimension.
Unlike metropolitan intellectuals trapped in the topicality, I make art like a shaman who tries to return to the cosmic unity of nature. Primitiveness and geometry, intuition and consciousness, subject and object, mystery and clarity, part and whole, suspicion and absolute…Clashing with dualities and, like a homo ludens making myself a part of the game, I am trying to prove that all this sublimity is nothing but a role-grabbing game. If every ritual is an escape from reality and a form of resistance against nothingness, art doesn’t reveal a state of presence different than that. I think it is necessary to find a way of purifying ourselves from all the impacts of everyday life, which prevents us from asking, “Is nothingness itself the only truth?”. Even defining myself as an anarchist and an atheist falls short; or is more. If my journey is towards “nothing”, then these definitions may also lose their own values.
Descriptive forms/styles extending from shamanism to the hermetic rituals of Egyptians, to cosmogony in Ancient Greek Mythology and cultural anthropology, which have continued until today on an ethnography level, are hidden in the cultural gene structure of my work. From an ancient ceramic to an icon, from a painting in a temple to motifs on rugs, from a shaman’s talismanic objects to the schematic pictures of an alchemist, from eternal stones to manuscripts, from a Far East painting to a miniature…Whatever there is that painting and writing is perceived as a whole, preoccupies my mind. These inspiration and knowledge sources that render artistic production dynamic, always keeps my mind alive. Of course, the psycho-dynamics of art, its social influence, intellectual and spiritual oscillations, ontological concerns and being virtuous, are also important for an artist; but what is more important is that an artist should not allow his/her own presence to be a tool for another mind’s sublimity try-outs.
The freedom that Romanticism gave to the artist seems to be gone. The institutions, status, approval authority and ontological standing of the artist, slip into a socioeconomic sequence. As an artist resisting the intellectual forms of production trying to be totalized by the art market under the name of “Contemporary Art”, I strive not to be a part of the time I live in, but of the holistic time that records human beings to her memory. ‘‘Omnia ab uno omnia ad unum’’; from whole to the sole, from sole to the whole. The cycle of Macrocosmos and Microcosmos…It is in this cycle that I test my presence; I both exist and do not exist. All “selves” lead to god, and all gods to the “self”. My path leads to the universe, where I both find myself and vanish. That is an-arche.
Apocrypha and Cosmic energy; to pronounce the presence of nothingness.
Ideographical signs as metalinguistic/paralinguistic codes are deliberately spread on the surface to give shape to the prosodic rhythm, which defines a poetic character of my “painting as writing”. The primitive tendencies as a ritual and instinctive relationship with nature, and the sense of geometrical perfection, are both introduced in a dualistic way, which represents the eclectic coherence of modern man. Writing is an intellectual and ontological presence, black is geometry of emptiness, and rigorous lines and hasty writing are all about psychological contradictions that I use as a precondition of sub-conscience. An apocryphal experience of devotion in ancient writings has always been my inspiration. Pictograms are instinctively designed as an invention of incomprehensible and incompatible language, aiming to produce signs of intellectual independency.
I consider myself a topiary gardener who works with perception. My gardens are utopian places – proudly utopian – where plants and organic beings can feed a crowd with cosmic energy. A magical cohesion emanates an incessantly chaotic order that looks like absolute geometry. Each painting is like a garden where cosmogony is reflected like the geometry of chaos.
The contradiction between shamanic instinct and scientific logic is evident, but no mystical tendencies are being aimed to be emphasized on purpose; although it seems so. All these signs – material and/or gestural – that appear as neutral morphemes with a trans-sensual spirituality, seem to contradict the idea that the pause in moments of intellectual desperation tends to escape into emptiness as an unconceivable momentum.
What is mystic or hermetic in my art is only a mimetic embodiment of the archaic behaviour of art. In a way, I attempt to divulge the paradox in artwork. An anthropological search, without questioning what is progress or regress, but simultaneously a kind of instrument for re-establishing an archaic past of the rituality in art. I am the primitive of the future…A modern Shaman…Chronically anachronistic!
Ümit İnatçı ‘‘An-arche’’ adlı sergisi için şunları söylüyor: ‘‘Mitolojik kozmogoni ve teogoninin yaratıcılarından olan Eski Yunan şairi Hesiodos’a göre dünyanın yaratılış orijininde kaos var. Kaos aynı zamanda kozmik armoninin kendisidir de. Hermes’ten Orfeus’a bu anlayışın bir inanç silsilesine bürünmesi doğayı esrarengiz bir dünyaya dönüştürdü. Müzik ve insanın doğayla uyumu arasındaki ilişki gizemli bir hal alıyordu. Bir sanatçı olarak beni ilgilendiren işte bu ‘arche’dir; yani sanatın ilk hali... Benim bir sanatçı olarak zaman ve mekan içindeki konumum ise bir ‘an-arche’ yani ilk ve orijinal olmayan bir durumdan kaynaklanıyor. Soyut sembollerle bezenmiş iki boyutlu bir düzlemde Klee’nin resimde müziği aradığı gibi ben de müziği ve armoniyi arıyorum. Resim ve enstalasyonlardaki ritüellik de Orfik tinsellikle bağdaştırılabilir. Doğayla uyum arayışı ne kadar antik bir arayışsa benim eserlerim de o kadar eski ve anakroniktir; çünkü şimdiki zamanın sınırları içinde düşünmenin sanatla çelişen bir zihinsellik durumu yarattığına inanıyorum. Şamanizm’den Mısırlıların hermetik ritüel sanatlarına, Antik Yunan Mitolojisi’ndeki kozmogoniye ve kültürel antropoloji - etnografya düzeyinde günümüze kadar varan betimleme biçimleri eserlerimin kültürel gen yapısında gizlidirler’’.