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Sencer Vardarman’s (b.1970, Istanbul) exhibition Under the Mother Earth’s Skin opens the exhibition programme. The exhibition consists of the three-screen video installation Wounded Ground II (19:26 min, 2020).For this work, Vardarman has created collages of images taken from space, which show opencast mines, located in eleven different countries, which people have protested against. The opencast mines cause environmental pollution, extinctions in nature and suffering among the people in the area.
In this work, Vardarman both documents and aesthetizes how humans cause the destruction of Planet Earth. The sharp and intensive images of the video work have been created by combining over 1,000 individual satellite images of each of the mines and using image processing to bring out the colours that could not be made out of individual satellite images. The mines, shot from a distance, become unreal, beautiful and captivating. At the same time, the work offers the viewer the opportunity to re-evaluate their relationship with the nature-destroying mining. The mines are used to produce fossil fuels and metals, such as gold, silver, copper and nickel, which are necessary for humans’ ever-growing consumption need.
Vardarman examines in his works the imagery which the media, researchers and advertisements offer of urban development, industry and natural disasters. He is interested in how a viewer’s perception can be purposefully manipulated in media images. Vardarman himself also employs photo manipulation methods when editing the landscapes in the images. By combining fragments of different pictures, he creates works that make the viewer unsure of what is real and what isn’t real in the image.
Vardarman lives and works in Berlin.
WAMx 2020: The Things We Are Made Of
WAMx continues the operating model, which was started this year, wherein the museum annually invites an international expert to design the exhibition programme in cooperation with the museum. The cooperation seeks works made by interesting creators that examine new themes and current perspectives.
This year, the international expert originally from Turkey, Ece Pazarbaşı, who works as a curator in Berlin.She has made the exhibition programme to be in accordance with its title The Things We Are Made Of. The programme turns our attention from what divides us to what unites us: At the end of the day, we are all made of the same elements.The exhibitions ask what we humans really are and what our place on this planet is.
Sencer Vardarman: Under the Mother Earth’s Skin in WAMx 28.2.-23.8.2020.
Photo: Sencer Vardarman, image caption from Wounded Ground II (Turkey-Soma 09), multichannel video installation, 2020.