Arslan Sükan: While You Are Sleeping

Exploring the divide between fantasy and reality, the Turkish-born artist's first solo show is exhibiting at Istanbul's Tepebasi Gallery

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In 'While You Are Sleeping', the Turkish born artist Arslan Sükan takes and distorts images of buildings and landscapes to create images that sit on the halfway point between reality and fantasy. By playing with the concepts of dimension and space he reshapes the world around him to explore the possibilities for transformation in the human experience. The images he takes, although of the everyday, become almost enthral and otherworldly, for example the open window that is blacked-out to signify some kind of portal to the afterlife - a wish to escape the humdrum of our everyday lives. The exhibition will be shown at the Tepebasi Gallery, Istanbul's premier contemporary art gallery, and is Sükan's first solo show.

Dazed Digital: Why did you decide to name the exhibition While You Are Sleeping?
Arslan Sükan:
 These photos witness a moment, where the idea of a plot and the sun lose its importance. Just like a landscape covered with snow, that looks innocent, at night cities are covered by darkness and the scene transforms itself into another meaning. Most of the time İ was shooting these scenes during night time. While You Are Sleeping is a series of photographs that erases every story that takes place or that may take place in our planet, yet illuminates the coordinates of human hope.

DD: Your work has been described as exploring the transformations of the human experience, what are these transformations?
Arslan Sükan:
 Darkness edits stories and different forms of human life in a seamless way where things that are far feel close, things that are big look small. Just like a dream, things that are relevant to us like dimension, distance and lights (that tells us time) disappear like a dream whether you are asleep or not. And that's what these series try to capture. A world where reality finds a new meaning..

DD: Is your work escapist?
Arslan Sükan:
 İ m trying to find a new way of defining things and forms in human life. Using hard light and shadows that turn into pitch black voids, the scenes and the man made structures gets a sculptural quality and transforms itself into another meaning. So the idea here is to create another form and meaning rather than escaping from it. İ'm trying to capture the invisible that would be only seen in darkness.

DD: What techniques did you use to create these images?
Arslan Sükan:
 I use traditional photographic capture at the first instant and then do some digital manipulations depending on the scene.

DD: What is it about architecture that inspired you to take these photographs?
Arslan Sükan: 
İ m very much interested in man made structures since it is one of the basic human instincts for protection. İ also want to question the friction between the power and the protection in these works.

GALERİST Tepebaşı Gallery, Meşrutiyet Caddesi, No: 67 Kat: 1 Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, March 1-26, 2011

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