'Internal Design' MarsIstanbul, 2018

Thoughts on the City from Theme to Settlement :

A Sercan Apaydın Transition

Oğuz Haşlakoğlu

An image, is always an image of a thing,

just like when Husserl, the founder of the school of

phenomenology speaks on consciouness by stating

‘Consciousness is always conscious of something.

’Such ‘thing’ is not quite always the subject itself

and especially if the intention is to understand

contemporary art, such a situation can not merely be

seen as a form of expression. Above all, it is necessary

to perceive contemporary art as where the thought

becomes the very essence, in opposition to the classic

relationship between expression and composition

adopted since the Renaissance. In fact,

contemporary art requires not the composition,

but the reconstruction of such elements in its

entirety on stage in painting

(the stage in a Shakespearean manner as the world ).

We must remember the words of Picasso here, where he says ‘I paint not what I see, but what I think.’, and the point Duchamp has come to, regarding the ready-made object based on this statement. The conclusion art has reached is in fact one that is inevitable, based on the aesthetic related foresights of Hegel from a century ago (that art would come to an end, and that philosophy would replace it). Art today, is no longer a manifestation of the idea based on the idea of composition, but it has to be the work of thought itself. Therefore it is absurd to ask the following traditional question to the artist; ‘What are you trying to tell us here?’, because the artist looks directly at us through his formed and orchestrated work which speaks for itself, in a ‘clotted’ way as Adorno puts it. What more is there to say?

Sercan Apaydın, is one of those artists who has been able to carry his battle with such problematics from the canvas to a real space. Sercan, who questioned the themes of space and emptiness in his earlier works from the context of a ‘city’, believes that he must analyze deeper after a sufficient amount of time spent in reclusion. As an artist whom I had first met working for the studio of artist Irfan Önürmen, Sercan is now trying to transcend the limitations of the subject and the thematic context , in the direction of inward thinking rather than diversifying it with another topic or theme, clearly revealing that he is well aware of these problematics with his recent studies and analysis. Moreover, he forms his relationship with contemporary art through his being as an ‘individual’ and as a ‘socil entity’, rather than elements and questions formed through culture and society. It would be best to explain further, by referencing a few of his recent works. For example, the artist’s installation featured in the exhibition titled ‘Atopos Project’ is a display of how Apaydın has begun to convey his paintings not in the form of mere subjects and themes, but as a thought process. In this case, the theme, however, is not on par with the level of thought itself, because the idea is not of a concept or idea (cogito) of the Cartesian 'thinking subject', but of an unpredictable unconscious backplane, in which it forms only the visible tip of the iceberg. The artist thus becomes a medium, rather than the artisan, the creator, because the unconscious becomes a ‘no man’s land’, an untouched territory in which it references instances from the artist’s memory. The idea that this portrayal is from the ‘spaceless space’ of privacy that no one has ever set foot in, takes the stage by embracing the elements that are essentially intertwined when expressed side by side in the following linguistic of context, form, content, subject / theme and material.

Thus, Sercan redefines space through an installation that is created with found wooden pieces, colored in blue/purple, and which is situated within the gallery space in a geometric manner. Contrary to his previous paintings, we now see an example for the question; ‘What is the subject of your painting?’, to which Pollock replies; ‘the Painter’. In this sense, the theme of this work and his similar recent studies is ‘ the painter’, in the sense of the 'context itself' in the context of ‘ a city’,

because the artist now establishes his own space through the found wooden pieces. Hence, the artist becomes an ‘installation'. This shows that it is in the artist’s own designed space, that the act of 'making' involves essentially the idea of becoming the ‘place’, which, at the same time, makes the artist inseperable from space through the work created. The material becomes an essential factor here, and it is very difficult for those who do not comprehend the love of material in art, to fully comprehend the idea of creativity in art. An artist shows the upmost special care for the material he works with, almost in an unconscious pleasurable manner, as he grows love for it sincerely. Such an idea forms the basis of a psychic energy where the artist puts the material before the form, and provides, in fact, a level of explanation of why Van Gogh has influenced people so much through his work. The psychic energy that is transfered from Van Gogh's canvas on to the viewer does not originate from the limitation and tame of painting; on the contrary, paint and the color it carries, the formal border, which has never before existed, usually is reimagined in the psyche of the spectator. Here, Van Gogh's ingenuity can be attributed to the act of painting in the context, over the material identified by the pleasure principle, and this approach constitutes the decisive feature of expressionism. Whether Expressionism or not, the approach on material is first initiated from a place of desire, before its place in the creation process of the work, even before the act of making begins. This, in essence, is mimetic because it is based on the pleasure principle, because it contains the wish to create the object, and its desire to be ‘weaved in’ and ‘intertwined’.

The idea of designing your own space can be viewed as a form of pure narcissism, due to the way the consciousness views itself as the object. The concept of becoming thus explains the way in which the conscious reflects on itself in the form of loving itself though the material. The essence of this idea is the fact that in a historical context it is the nature of 'being present in the world' that brings itself to the socio (common, sociological aspect) as a challenge / openness in its own sense, at the same time the city and the 'place of settlement’. From such a point of view, Sercan Apaydın seems to have taken the necessary steps towards reaching the real thought, transitioning from a problematic that takes the city as its subject and its themes as space and emptiness, that would deepen by the artist designing his own space and settling in.







13 April | 20 May 2017


As we start to loose our ownership over the city with each passing day, the relationship between the spaces and the objects that make up those spaces are no longer among the confines that define us, they do not represent us, do not provide a cultural continuity in our everyday lives, and ignores our habits. What really matters is the city gives up its flexibility which allows space for different views. With his second personal exhibit "By Owner" in the Versus Art Project, Sercan Apaydın tells the story of the present-day city, which has lost its soul and became a toy in the hands of the dominant system. The city, which has no other features left than the guiding and supervising mechanisms, was taken from the subjects-plural and transferred to the managers. It is now "By Owner" by being the property of the dominating system.


In his previous exhibition, the artist, who described the city as "Deep Emptiness", now brings a city, which does not need anything other than the necessity of being governed; developing in the hands of the opportunist groups, being demolished and rebuild to be useful for the owners, to his works. This exhibition meets art lovers with more than 40 new works including series of work with an unique artistic language. The exhibition brings together imagery that came out of conditions where the city got branded "from its owner" ads first and then caused people that live there become "insignificant."


Sercan Apaydin, who carries monotonous, destroyed landscapes surrounded with high muted walls to his works, pursuing the path of the images where actors are no longer in play and the memory and subjects are destroyed. 'Does seeing the subject trying to hold on to life show a struggle for a city to reunite all over again with its subjects-pluralism? So, perhaps, the first thing we have to look for in the works of Sercan Apaydın should be this: the subject creating his own poetry with a miraculous "return" in an environment unsuitable for its existence, therefore creating his unique production... In those "frustrating spaces", among those stifling landscapes, this stands as fundamental resistance, doesn't it?' Emre Zeytinoğlu


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8 October | 15 November 2015

Recently the concept of “deep” has taken the form of a statement related to a characteristic, rather than a physical state. Classical disciplines like history, or political institutions and applications like the state are described with the adjective “deep”. These usages express and symbolize something which is beyond the visible.


In the process of choosing a name for the exhibition, in addition to this, I started with a conceptual statement. The conceptual definition of “Deep Emptiness” is harbored in expressions like “a deep crisis” and “deep negligence”. It is an approach that attempts to look at present day life and social perception via the city and architecture. It is the expression of a pictorial observation of how the ideologies that have dominated each period throughout history have transformed living spaces and cities.