solo exhibition at Kunst Meran, Italy
curated by Christiane Rekade
Inspired by the story of Lago di Carezza, a small mountain lake in the western Dolomites, Özlem Altin stages an atmospheric sequence of images on the first floor of the exhibition space: drawings, paintings and photographs that the artist created partly in Merano. She investigates the primordially human desire to explain one’s surrounding environment and to give it – also by means of stories and legends – a meaning. For the artist the lake is a metaphor for the permeable border between reality and imagination, between external world and psyche. For her the water surface is like a membrane – a “lens” – offering insights into the other world or mirroring it.
Özlem Altin works with her extensive collection of self-made and found images, photographs and texts, which she reworks, paints over, cuts up, rearranges and assembles in the exhibition space following an intuitive narrative. In her works the body, its gestures and postures, is a central subject. For the artist “the body is a vehicle for the transmission of knowledge, experience, a vehicle for communication and exchange” (Reinhard Braun, camera austria, 2017). Hence, in Merano she shows the lake as a biotope in which living beings form, develop, newly emerge and transform, in which mermaids and other hybrid creatures can be found – similar to the human psyche that is constantly creating new forms and images.
Özlem Altin makes body fragments, water animals and mermaids appear in her paintings in ever new arrangements, in connection with rhythmic wave-like brush strokes, and from the smooth and clear surface of the lake she lets the public dive into its unfathomable depths.