A Dialogue Between the Past and the Future
By Belgin Yücelen
What is the Project?
I am creating a series of new work that expresses the power and grace of classical sculpture and e
mploys cutting edge components.
The contrast between the exciting high-tech futuristic components and the graceful realism of the figurative sculptures will urge people to stop and evaluate the present. After creating and exhibiting these sculptures in national and international shows, I will photograph them and install large-scale displays on abandoned buildings as fabric or slide-projections to continue this conversation as part of the visual field of the present, urging the public to become an active subject in the narration.
This type of an extensive project will not be possible without strong collaborations. This project is partly supported by the Clark Hulings Fund and at the moment I am pursuing other partners and sponsors among artists, crafters, designers and technology companies.
This series will be a reflection between historical heritage and advanced technology filtered by an artistic vision exploring shifts in meaning and beauty. The sculptures will form a pathway that recalls the relationship between past and future, the lines of thought between remote and familiar and the enigma between intimacy and isolation.
Why I am doing it?
With a PhD in chemical engineering and research, I know how exciting the future is. And as an artist, I know the importance of building on a solid foundation. As technology continues to increase our autonomy and capabilities, we must not let it also breed detachment, alienation, and isolation. Our shared history and current social interactions provide solid ground—they civilize us.
I am excited about a future leading to the higher reaches of human genius with more capabilities and opportunities. However, I am also passionate about holding on to our norms and values honoring sensible relationships which form the meaning in life. A future with detachment, alienation, and isolation reshaping our communications and placing our current social interactions to more superficial settings seems to be a not so remote possibility. With this project I would like to demonstrate that a present is possible where we can hold on to our values that encourage face to face interactions and human intimacy while moving on to a future with amelioration.
These sculptures will question whether if we will be able to hold on to our delicate sensibilities within the present or move on to an exciting however detached point. Installations on buildings in various cities will give the public the chance to take a moment to evaluate their own destinations.
This project will also allow me to achieve my bigger goal. After the completion of this series, I will show my work at high level galleries and top art fairs.
I will then have the freedom to experiment, create and share my philosophy and ideas with this growing and interested audience and be a part of the conversation within the international contemporary art world.
How I am doing it?
I am skill-building in classical sculpting techniques and researching high-tech applications such as 3D-printing, laser-cutting, emotionally sensitive textiles, and fiber optic elements to select the methods that will convey my message with the most convincing contrast. I am pursuing partners and sponsors among artists, crafters, designers and technology companies. After creating these sculptures, I will photograph them and install large-scale displays on abandoned buildings as fabric or as slide-projections to continue this conversation as part of the visual field of the present. I will then lay groundwork with gallerists, curators and my audience for the introduction of this new series in 2019.
Who Am I? / Why Me?
I create sculptures, installations, movies and prints drawing on the traditions of the past and today’s values. I am interested in tracing shifts over time in our personalities, cultural values, norms, and traditions by referring to history, anthropology, theology, philosophy, and architecture. I also speak out on behalf of children in war, women with no rights, refugees and talk about current social issues with my art. And once in a while I create imaginary tales of imaginary people with no definite time and place.
By mashing past and future together I dare the viewer to cherish the human intimacy and face to face collaboration that we used to take for granted, and to discover new pathways to the future.
“The future can replace everything, leaving us detached & isolated from others, or it can civilize by inculcating what has been gained and strengthening social bonds. I incite that dialogue, so we may choose intelligently.”