Özlem Altin full text by Susanne Weiß

Honey Moon

Özlem Altin creates with her ever-immersive work an atmosphere that moves in all directions. There seems to be no beginning and no end, only energy. No, wait, there is a beginning. The artist has just been pulling it out of the drawer, slowly  examining it from all sides and eventually unraveling certain threads until this discovery becomes part of her artistic cosmos.

She brought everything with her. Her tent, a curtain and the figure of a dummy, even the water. Above all the grid. Like an uneven structure of a DNA chain its repetitive pattern turns into a polyphonic creature which exists below as well as above. The installed curtain is see-through but nevertheless gently reflects the moonlight. It exactly needs this lucid transparency to shift time and space. A reflection might echo: things can be seen but not taken.

The moon circling around us has unpredictable effects. With an archaic elegance Özlem Altin embraces that which comes to her. Materials that have been around us for an unknowable period of time appear with their timeless beauty and its decay. This moment of loss reflects back to her through various channels. The unconsciousness has been suspended, it is vulnerable and meaningful. Altin carefully retrieves and reassembles these fragments in an enclosed, animated space. She takes part and the hidden histories take part of her. Their integral images present forms that reveal their journey. The artist enigmatically greets our ancestors.

She listens to the humming of the swarm producing organic material in the tradition of the ancient mythologies. She takes the honey out and starts to put thick layers on the injured sculpture which can be found in one of her collages. We follow her going back in time, back to the moment of the feast when this sculpture has been inaugurated and joyfully celebrated by its community, back to the moment when the flood came, back to the moment when the archeologists came, rediscovering it.

She falls into a deep sleep. She has to usher the body parts into the present, to become their representative, to unveil their brutal past. Her materials vary, but her tools are those of a shaman, a carpenter, an archeologist, a librarian. She starts to cut all the questions out.

“Honey Moon” invites the viewer to perceive the exhibition as a stage. The curtain is fixed but open, its protagonists have crossed the line and start to move, still a bit uncertain about their new environment but thrilled to be seen. The beauty of a medieval memento mori finds itself depicted through the medium of the collage. Özlem Altin finds new connections with her scissors and brushes, analogue and digital. She is not asking but exploring.

Text by Susanne Weiß, Berlin, November 2019