Güneştekin, who held a press conference for talking about his new exhibition opening in Venice ‘Milion Taşı’, started his speech with a quote of Yaşar Kemal- who he calls as his teacher, his master, his father: “When good people gather, good things happen. I always met good people, so I believe that I always did good things.”
We alson see that there are good things on a good way. Ahmet Güneştekin has worked in a collobartion with Murat Pilevneli holding exhibitions abroad such as America and Holland besides Turkey since 2012 at Malborough Gallery and with Architect Emre Arolat at this exhibition. Pilevneli talked about the process about the famous Malborough Gallery and the successful journey from Batman to Venice.
Ahmet Güneştekin’s well known cat Şin jumped on the table in the middle of the conference and accompanied to Emre Arolat then Güneştekin for a while.
After the speech about Şin, Ahmet Güneştekin said “Milion Taşı has been a project that I integrated Istanbul and woman in it” He was very excited. This moment at which there are very important art events is not a coincidence, this is a special moment thanks to the the historical and aesthetic perspective of the city. It is a very important responsibility to take place at such a significant event with your project in that poweful place.” There will be 8 works of Ahmet Güneştekin including 2 sculptures and 6 paintings that he created against sex discrimination at La Pietà, which is a historical building from 14th century.
Ahmet Güneştekin puts İstanbul in the center of his works this time, although he is known for his works with Anatolian, Mesopotamia and Greek cultures and legends. They go to the ancient times with all the names and themes of the city and here Konstantiniyye sculpture occurs. “It is a work including the rejected layers of Istanbul to some degrees” Three heavenly religions are able to be felt in the Yüzleşme (Confrontation) series.
Ahmet Güneştekin remarking that he gets inpiration from Anatolia says “I get inspiration from Mesopotamia and Greek myth, I am a verbal culture catcher to some extent. “ Güneştekin’s four metres height sculture Milion Taşı made from black marble emphasizes the neuterless eliminating the symbolic element phallus in milion stone’s cultural texture.
On Güneştekin’s works who says “Istanbul is a city that I get inspiration as well as I issue” Istanbul’s history can also be felt. The giant sculture Konstantiniyye consisting thirteen letters in the word itsely aiming to uncover the different character layers combines the important names taking place during the centuries such as Byzantion, Byzantium, Nova Roma, Costantinople, Constantinopolis, Der Saadet, İslambol, Asitane, Dar-ul-Hilafet. Kutsal Yüzleşme series emphasizes the possibility of bringing an equal perspective to different religions and the importance of creating common points and values.
Güneştekin reshapes the monument from Eastern Rome era in Istanbul in Milion Taşı exhibition and centers Lilith, the first wife of Adam opposite the monument by reinterpreting the phallus symbol. The reason of the work is his wonder why milion stone seems as a cultural symbol and the being uncomfortable because of the male domination. According to Güneştekin, Lilith- living in Istanbul with its seven stories, seven layers and seven hills and taking place in Venice journey of Milion Taşı- is the first living being rebelling this domination thanks to the question “Does gender have to be such important?”
“Violence has increased in our country like all over the world. I tried to emphasize the powerful side of the woman. I presented the historical memory to hit the men’s power claims.”
Architect Emre Arolat said these for the 14th centurey church Santa Maria della Pietà: “It has an atmosphere rejecting most of the postures that we get used to by presenting the belonging to somewhere feeling in many perspectives. It seems a conceited building to us. You can not overcome it, you can not against it. All you can do is to make it forgotten just for a while.
It is a building with an amazing memory. So are Ahmet Güneştekin’s works. Güneştekin’s works have a larger place in terms of perception than they have place in terms of being objects. That is why there occurs a tensional relationship at the end. We assemblied a design withdrawing before making it annoyed and getting inspiration from that tensional relationship. We preferred to use its own spine. Arolat “Ahmet combines Mesopotamia and Venice. So, there is a big tension between his works and the place that he create his works” and he added his own thoughts about La Pietà that the exhibition takes place: “I hope people will spend more time with Ahmet Güneştekin than the architect when they arrive there” by emphasizing that they try to protect the imaginative line between art and architecture.
Ahmet Güneştekin’s painting-sculpture exhibition named Milion Taşı in which the woman and Istanbul was issued will be at Santa Maria della Pietà in Venice between May 6th and November 22th 2015 as an extra event of Venice Bienale and will be curated by Matthew Drutt.
Art is life, live with it…
Translated from Turkish : Hatice Topbaş