As a combination of today’s reality and of what is left in the artist’s mind from the encyclopedia pages he often used to scan in his childhood, No(ir)land is a place where the scriptwriter is a child, the players are the Victorian and Baroque characters of the encyclopaedia illustrations, and the space is a “no land”. The artist’s imagination actually builds an alternative reality combined with what he would like to currently avoid and run away from. In fact he is opening to question whether “No land” is an emptied world or a land to escape to from the existing one.
Paradoxes such as reality and fictional, past and future, eastern references embedded in the encyclopaedic illustrations of the western literature all combine to form a dystopia in Ansen’s work. Each piece resembles illustrations in a futuristic children’s book, demanding the accompanying text from an imaginary, futuristic encyclopaedia. As mechanized, wrinkly, angular forms meet the artist’s prismatic perception of space, they transform into a game, a new quest for form.
In this modern world dominated by politics and technology, Ansen’s new works in fact offer an opportunity to return to essence, to escape and to fantasize.
On the other hand, Ansen’s lightboxes can be interpreted as the contemporary versions of stained glass. This time the backlit religious portraits are replaced by mechanic and robotic characters animated by an artificial “sacred” light, highlighting the synthetic idea of “modern” values.
In the exhibition’s catalogue text, Ali Şimşek explaines No(ir)land as:
“NO(ir)LAND, black continent, black country or “no country”… The story told is about dreams, myths on the forehead invading the Silicon Valley, and about the continents we are imprisoned in.
Ansen combines the 17th century Baroque curve sneaking into comics, children’s illustrations and machine parts with the “new economy” and media of 2000s. He paints the lace’s grey shadow cast upon cold, minimalist surfaces and robot dogs….
He illustrates the monolith baroque power; the slim hope floating in resistance…”
Photo; Ansen, The Master’s Calling, 102×130, C-Print, Face mount to plexiglass mounted on dibond, 2015