Philippa Van Loon: “It has been a very interesting experience to have Güler Ates work in the museum, taking photographs with her model in natural light while the visitors wandered through the house. Sometimes you forgot that she was not part of the setting and history of the house. I couldn’t stop thinking of what my father would have thought, he was an Archeologist of the Middle East, spoke Turkish and often worked on expeditions there. He would have been amused to see the cross reference to the most ancient of cultures from which we all stem.”
Güler Ates works with Video, Photography, Printmaking and Performance. At the heart of her work lies an exploration into the experience of cultural displacement. Manifestations of her work are realized through performance and site-responsive activities that merge Eastern and Western sensibilities.
The title refers to unknown identities in her character that is the central theme in her work. Who is this person? What stories is she unfolding? What commentary does she make with her gestures and body language at Museum Van Loon? And where is her place in the art and architectural histories of the West and the East?
The Veil is a garment or fabric as much as a concept that becomes theatrical in Ates’ work. Sometimes it becomes a form, a metaphor, a mystery, invisible, silence or holiness. It is a language that she employs in her work that also becomes poetic, revealing and concealing the body. The history of the veil goes back as far as to Mesopotamia, where it is believed the practice of veiling started in the higher ranks of society. Drapery has been a very important theme in art history from the ancient Greeks to contemporary art in the 21st century. Drapery embodies the concept of representation or absence of the body.
Looking at Thora Van Loon’s and Louise Borski’s sensual, soft and gentle paintings in the blue drawing room at Museum van Loon, one inevitably thinks about the themes of drapery and of the presence of the body. These women have shown us their power and presence with their body language and gestures from these grand paintings. They gaze at the viewer in a veiled, almost mystical manner from a distance. There is a huge contrast between the figures in these paintings and the figure that is the central theme in Güler Ates’ work in terms of presence and absence of the body, but yet shares a similar history of drapery or garment.
Displaying her work in the blue room not only questions the role women played in history but also comments on Thora Van Loon’s important role as a representative lady for the court in Amsterdam.
During the exhibition Ates would like to open up women’s role in the current political turbulence in the Middle East (and particularly in Turkey) and the West by looking at the history of women from different social ranks. When such turbulences happen in war areas, important struggles such as women’s rights and education get neglected. During the making of the work in Museum Van Loon, Güler Ates reflected on how the East and West exist side by side, their differences defining each other and how the Museum demonstrates some of this reciprocal definition, such as from the involvement of the Van Loon family’s business with the Dutch East India Company in 1602.
Güler Ates sourced the fabric for implementing her new works at Museum Van Loon locally therefore re-examing the definition of ‘exoticism’ in trading the fabrics. Most colors of the garment that her character wears in the photographs were carefully selected from displayed flowers that were at Museum Van Loon during the implementation of the project. The objects, paintings and figures on the displayed panels along with the flowers are embedded as a layer in her work and with doing so embed an intuitive emotional commentary.
Güler Ates’ works at Oude Kerk focus on the history and architecture of this stunning church. Ates was struck by its beautiful interior, the scale of the Church and the quality of light which offers a new direction in her work.
Ates is drawn to Dutch Old Master paintings and Dutch architecture. The darkness and intensity of her works are reminiscent of these masters of painting. With her work she wants to question the relationship between the veil and the West, and by setting the female veiled figure within an European interior she subtly refers to the West’s interpretation of the veiled woman and refers back to the European traditions of veiled women as found in the work of Old Masters such as Vermeer.
Ates sources the fabric and makes all of the luscious silk costumes worn by the model. She photographs with natural light only after scrupulous research into the history of the building. It is up to the spectator to discover the relationship between the figure and the location itself and trace the unfolding narrative.
Previously, Ates made a series of work at Huys te Warmont and she will be extending the subject matter through new works at the Museum Van Loon which will by presented in September 2017.
Marian Cramer Projects is pleased to present Femocracy – The Divine Feminine with Victoria Adam, Güler Ates, Lise Haller Baggesen, Annabel Emson and Michelle McKeown.
In ‘Democracy Begins Between Two’ (2000), Luce Irigaray (Belgium) invites us to rethink democracy and construct a new civil code invested with the genio femminile (the female spirit).
‘Until the relationship between man and woman has changed, the desire to dominate nature, not only cosmos and women’s nature but equally the nature of young people, of other races, and citizens of their countries, will remain unchanged.’(2000, Irigaray)
McKeown’s most recent rorschach works for Femocracy – The Divine Feminine seek to establish painting emphatically as an inter-subjective encounter, rupturing traditional representations of women in an attempt to forge new relations with man, woman, nature, world and other.
Güler Ates’ work comments on the Western notion of Orientalism and the effects of the cross-pollination of cultures on female identity and architecture. In her work she questions the relationship between the veil and the West, by setting the female veiled figure within a lush or historic European interior. Ates will be presenting new work made recently at Oude Kerk Amsterdam.
In the past years Lise Haller Baggesen has been working mainly on two bodies of work regarding Female Genius and Feminist Utopias, namely MOTHERNISM and HATORADE RETROGRADE.
MOTHERNISM (2013-) is a book and nomadic audio installation, aiming to stake out the “mother-shaped hole” in contemporary art discourse, at the intersection of Feminism, Sci-Fi and Disco. If the proverbial Mother is perhaps perceived as a persona non grata in the art world, because her nurturing nature is at odds with the hyperbolic ideal of the singular artistic genius, MOTHERNISM amplifies her presence, channeling her energy, complexity, and sublime creative potential in a series of intimate and critical reflections. The resulting collection of letters dedicated with love from one mother to her dear daughter, sister, mother, and reader—fuse biography, music, art, and history into an auto-theoretical testimony that recalls and redefines the future imperfect.
Since it’s inception MOTHERNISM has toured North America and Europe and also served as the “mother-ship” for the academic colloquium “Mapping the Maternal: Art, Ethics, and the Anthropocene” at the University of Alberta, earlier this year.
The book was co-published by Green Lantern Press & Poor Farm Press in 2014, and is available through SPD books:
HATORADE RETROGRADE (2016-) debuted at Chicago’s Threewalls/Rational Park in May 2016 and was received with an Art Forum Critics pick by Matt Morris. It features a selection of sartorial works set against a backdrop of revisionist “lipstick formalist” paintings to present a dystopian vision of the US anno 2033. In this glimmering post-capitalist burnout we must learn to make-do-and-mend, to repurpose art for art’s sake, and perhaps to forgive –but not forget– certain moments in the past when we were all hitting the Hatorade a little too hard. HATORADE RETROGRADE paints a bleak but hilarious picture of our shared predicament: on the intersectional battlefield we traverse there is no one-size-fits-all body armor, yet we cannot let our guards down post-feminism, until we arrive at post-gynophobia.
Annabel Emson will be showing paintings about the feminine in relation to Jung’s writings on the feminine and masculine, and work based on the writing of Gaston Bachelard and his reference to the feminine and water.
Finding something beyond politics, beyond opinion, beyond separation and judgement, a place where all is, and all is well is what excites Emson about painting. Matter just forming and transforming. This pure state is the ecstasy of the artist.
Victoria Adam has created new work for Amsterdam Art Weekend beyond politics beyond opinion. Adam makes sculptures intended to be experienced close-up and will present 3 small sculptures infused with herbal blends of both a real and cognitive variety. Each evokes a specific feeling from a combination of ingredients, smells and tactile familiarity.
Lise Haller Baggesen is based in Chicago and all other artists live and work in London
Güler Ates’ new works at Oude Kerk will focus on the history and architecture of this stunning church through photography. She was struck by its beautiful interior, the scale of the Church and the quality of light which offers a new direction for her work. Ates is drawn to Dutch Old Master paintings and Dutch architecture. The darkness and intensity of her works are reminiscent of these masters of painting. She wants to question the relationship between the veil and the West, and by setting the female veiled figure within an European interior she subtly refers to the West’s interpretation of the veiled woman and refers back to the European traditions of veiled women as found in the work of Old Masters such as Vermeer.
Ates sources the fabric and makes all of the luscious silk costumes worn by the model. She photographs after scrupulous research into the history of the building. It is up to the spectator to discover the relationship between the figure and the location itself and trace the unfolding narrative.
Güler Ates is particularly interested in the interior of the Oude Kerk because of its evocative appeal for the staging of images. While implementing the project she will use only natural light, which will give her the opportunity to explore the effect of the light falling from different angles through the medieval stained glass.
Previously, Ates made a series of work at Huis te Warmond and she will be extending the subject matter through new works at the Museum Van Loon in September 2016.
Güler Ates has always been inspired by the hidden stories and many layers of history associated with the architecture of buildings. During her visit in The Netherlands, she was struck by the grandeur of Huis te Warmond. She was inspired by the romantic 18th century surroundings and the strong feeling and presence of the history guarded by the walls of the house. She has been looking at themes, including 17th and 18thcentury Dutch interior painting and incorporated these aesthetic impulses in her recent work. Ates is inspired by paintings from the Dutch Old Master. The darkness and intensity of the works on display are reminiscent of these masters of painting. Ín this way she comments on the Western notion of Orientalism and the effects of the cross pollination of cultures on female identity and architecture questioning the relationship between the veil and the West, and exploring the representation of the veiled woman, which refers back to the European traditions as found in the work of Old Masters such as Vermeer. Ates has previously implemented projects at the following architectural settings:Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Cité Internationale Des Arts, Paris; Leighton House Museum, London; Great Fosters (the former royal hunting lodge of King Henry VIII), Egham; Royal Academy of Arts, London; and City Palace, Udaipur, India. Guler Ates (Mus, 1977), graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA Fine Art in Printmaking in 2008. Currently, Ates is Digital Print Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools. She has exhibited work in Britain, Turkey, India, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her work is collected internationally and her artworks are included in numerous public collections, including the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Huis Marseille and the Royal Academy, London. Güler Ates works and lives in London.
Marian Cramer Projects is delighted to present, Zenana, the second solo exhibition by the London-based Turkish artist Güler Ates in the gallery.
This new series of arresting photographs is the result of Ates’ residency in India in December 2012. She spent most of her time in Rajasthan realizing a project at the City Palace Museum (Udaipur)*, which was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II. Ates’ work revolves around the themes of female identity, diaspora and cross-cultural displacement.
For centuries, the Indian subcontinent has been synonymous with colour. With coloured cities such as Jaipur (pink) and Jodphur (blue), Holi, the ‘festival of colour’ and the site of sophisticated dye and pigment production, India is a nation for which colour is seen as an inextricable part of the national psyche. Through her jewel-toned images, Güler Ates captures this intrinsic element of India.
The material basis of colour, as well as textiles made using such dyes and pigments, were central commodities to trade between India and Europe. That these vibrantly coloured silks and cottons were then sold to female consumers only functioned to further define ‘the East’ as feminine. But while these were novelty items in Europe, Güler Ates re-contextualises these by situating them back within the Indian interior. Unlike previous work, in which the figure’s relationship to the setting is ambiguous, in these works the figure blends so well that it almost disappears back into it, as if a return to the ‘real’, authentic environment only works to create a mirage. Leaving what the image appears to represent to the viewer.
Just as the situation of non-Western women is more conspicuous in Europe, Ates’ images work to question the extent to which this cause is considered domestically, away from the prying eyes of the media. As with previous work, the figure in Ates’ work is ambiguous, denying us the power to label and judge, subverting the Orientalist trope of the harem scene in which women are depicted as decorative features of the interior. Rather, it is the privacy of the Zenana, the Hindi term for the inner aparments of a house in India and Pakistan in which the women of the family live, that Ates captures in her work.
Güler Ates (1977) was born in Mus (Eastern Turkey) and graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA Fine Art in Printmaking in 2008. Currently, Ates is Digital Print Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools. She has exhibited work in Britain, Turkey, India, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her work is collected internationally and her artworks are included in numerous public collections, including the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy, London.
*This project was generously supported by Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation Udaipur.
Text by curator Josephine Rout / Edited by Marian Cramer
Marian Cramer Projects
1077 GM Amsterdam
T: +31 (0)6 147 80 171
NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Illustrations and more information can be requested on +31 6 147 80171 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
MARIAN CRAMER PROJECTS is honoured to present a series of new photographs and video work by the Turkish, London-based artist, Güler Ates. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands in the year Turkey and the Netherlands celebrate 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Displacement lies at the heart of Ates’ work. She pursues the potential of pattern and motif within Islamic art, an echo of her Eastern heritage, which is often integrated in lavish architectural spaces. This functions as concealment and exposure, thereby alluding to the theatrical.
Ates work starts with film and photography. Yet with a subsequent layering of imagery – resulting in a disruptive blur of cultural perceptions – a veil is created. Her work combines performance and site-responsive activities that merge Eastern and Western sensibilities. There is a sensuality that is rich and complex revealing an emotional comment on the woman who inhabits the places in the work.
Ates’ is inspired by Dutch old master paintings such as Vermeer. The mastery of light, composition and color are recurring elements in her work. Her unrecognizably veiled female figures lighting up against a dark background create the fluid, floating appearances that have become tantamount to Ates’ work.
Born in 1977 in Eastern Turkey, Güler Ates lives and works in London. She graduated in 2008 from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Printmaking. Her work can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s print collection and was recently shown in Great Fosters, Egham, UK.
Exhibiting internationally, recent solo and group exhibitions include the Leighton House Museum, London, The LOFT at the Lower Parel, Mumbai, (India), Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK), Hastings Museum and Gallery, Hastings, (UK), Cite des Arts, Paris (France).
5 February until 23 March 2012
+31 (0)6 147 80 171
Güler Ates will also be presented among other artists by
Marian Cramer Projects during Re:Rotterdam at Boompjes 60-68, Rotterdam
Please check: www.rerotterdam.com
A Shuttle bus will operate between Re:Rotterdam and Art Rotterdam every 20 min.
Marian Cramer Projects
1077 GM Amsterdam
T: +31 (0)6 147 80 171
NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Illustrations and more information can be requested on +31 6 147 80171 or email@example.com
Artists presented: Güler Ates, Annabel Emson, Marenka Gabeler, Michelle McKeown, Vion Pansiyue, Natalia Cout and others
De Boompjes 60-68, Rotterdam
A Shuttle bus will drive between Art Rotteram and Re:Rotterdam