Alchemy of the Image

Art Project Depot - Alchemy of the Image
Contemporary Istanbul 2017
Gaia Gallery, Istanbul

Artists: Nur Gürel, Gonul Nuhoglu, Şifa Girinci, Arda Yalkin, Hande Şekerciler, Elektra KB, Sinan Demirtaş
Curated by Irina Batkova

Alchemy is the name of chemistry before its scientific period - in the Middle Ages it developed as a peculiar science, based on the idea of the possibility of transformation of base metals into gold and silver. To achieve this sacred goal, alchemists introduced the notion of Philosopher's Stone. By this concept they designated a universal substance that turns base metals into gold and silver, is able to cure any disease and even to ensure immortality. But true alchemists had used different symbols to describe processes of transformation within the person - in the psyche or soul, which also influence the physiological state of humans. According to Athanasius Kircher, alchemy contains the knowledge of the evolution of man from a state in which matter predominates to a spiritual state: the transformation of metals into gold is equal to the transformation of man into a pure spirit.

The Alchemy of the Image project presents part of the creative process, within which occurs the transformation of experience, knowledge and observations into something completely new, such as art objects. The installation with works brought from the studios of Nur Gürel, Gonul Nuhoglu, Şifa Girinci, Arda Yalkin, Hande Şekerciler, Elektra KB, Sinan Demirtaş is an attempt to recreate part of the atmosphere of a laboratory space where the works displayed in this exhibition were created. The exhibition is organized in the form of a catalogue; every author has a page whose content is the result of the ‘alchemic’ action, which involves also the works displayed in the installation. The project is structured so as to show on a relatively small area the work process and the end result of the creation of a work of art. For this purpose, the seven artists presented by the Gaia Gallery participate in the creation of a joint installation whose components are objects selected by them, objects, which they use in the work process when creating their works - photographs, books, sketches, work tools or just stuff that inspire them, or which help them concentrate on the idea they visualize.