Aura - Solo exhibition by VACD faculty member Murat Germen


Concept text:

In galleries, museums, art fairs or bazaars, markets; items on display are usually preferred if they have a certain “aura.” This aura, beyond a pristine “beauty” of the self; may depend on current trends that are vogue, the identity of the particular exhibit venue, the specific person or the brand that exhibits, the arbitrary daily mood of the audience / buyers, the symbiotic relationship between who exhibits and promotes with positive critique, and sometimes the exhibitor’s statement and the perception of this statement by audience / buyers. What renders something beautiful is not always the inner self, something can easily be rendered “beautiful” externally...


This series of artworks, focusing on the difference between the intrinsic soul and extrinsic perception subsidiary to conditions; was created in galleries, museums and market places in Paris, Bologna, Hong Kong, London and Istanbul in year 2009. The “Aura” series, comprised of 16 “unique edition” photos with three different sizes of 90 x 60 cm, 120 x 80 and 150 x 100 cm, can be seen at C.A.M. Gallery Nişantaşı, Istanbul branch between the dates of November 10 – December 10, 2009.


This series is conceived as a reminder and critique of the ever-present but recently much-peaked “market economy” climate and approach, concealed with various awareness arguments in artists’ statements. When it is time for important art events; the delusional presence of “wild” parties, discourses, allegations, lobbying and pathetic self-promotion efforts in exhibition openings, the pursuit for sponsors and sponsors’ hegemonic steering, the making of artists race with each other on auction prices, the focus and the following press coverage on celebrities at the openings as opposed to artworks themselves, draws much attention. These astonishing demeanors possibly point to the fact that art has lost its freedom, sits right in the middle of the system it allegedly criticizes and finally disingenuously exalts the system. In the presence of commercial art milieu, it seems there has not remained much difference between art venues and shopping malls. Aura series can be taken as a study created after the desire of having artworks independent of peripheral conditions and gaining their inherent value...