Viola Yeşiltaç - I Really Must Congratulate You on Your Attention to Detail
Date: 20 January 2012 - 18 February 2012
Gallery: Cooper Gallery
Preview: 19 January 2012, 6 – 8pm
Performance: 19 January 2012, 7-7:30pm
Exhibition: 20 January – 18 February 2012
Read a review of this exhibition The Times review of Viola Yeslitac at Cooper Gallery
The work of New York based German artist Viola Yeşiltaç explores the displacements that operate between photography, drawing, sculpture and performance. Drawing attention to the materiality of artworks Yeşiltaç’s work considers how “the fictional world leaks and leaves a stain in the physically present world”.
Watch documentation of Viola Yeşiltaç's Performance at the Preview Event:
With an MFA in Photography from the Royal College of Art (London) and a prominent track record of making performance, Yeşiltaç pinpoints time as the crucial factor charging her practice. Reproducing and re-presenting photographs of a defunct signage factory, domestic settings and interior design in drawing, sculpture, performance and photography, Yeşiltaç reveals a transition from fiction to a representation of reality.
The title of Yeşiltaç’s major solo exhibition in Scotland I Really Must Congratulate You on Your Attention to Detail is cited from the UK television series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In this performed fiction the actor Jeremy Brett exists, within the frame of the recorded image, as a perpetual avatar of Holmes. Shrouded by the fictional Holmes the material reality of the actor is superseded by the medium of the moving image. It is in this relationship between the ‘real’ and the ‘fictional’, and the displacements that occur between them, that Yeşiltaç’s exhibitions grounded.
Central to Yeşiltaç’s exhibition is a set of photographs of paper sculptures. The photographs reveal brief moments; as short as ten seconds, when sheets of coloured paper are temporarily balanced. Set amongst a wider installation these images of weight and movement unsettle the apparent solidity of the authoritative photograph.
The tension between differing modes of perception, between drawing and the photograph, is elaborated in two related works that re-produce, in contrasting forms, a set of 160 photographs, each of which is drawn upon by hand with black sumi ink. In one incarnation the photographs are presented as an exquisitely bound book of photocopies, the cover of which is made from faux leather. In the second incarnation, the hand touched photographs are projected as slides from a carousel, onto wall mounted slabs of marble. In both of these works, Yeşiltaç draws your attention to the details of their presentation. Marble is a signifier of artistic and sculptural permanence, yet in this instance it becomes the surface of a brief illuminated detail. Whilst the book, simultaneously inhabits the space of value and authority, that a ‘leather’ bound book offers, yet it is also, by adopting the form of the disposable photocopy, inhabits the realm of the provisional and inconsequential.
Yeşiltaç’s exhibition manoeuvres deftly among the exigencies of different creative media, and how they in turn construct and confuse the boundaries between the 'real' and the 'fictional'. I Really Must Congratulate You on Your Attention to Detail offers a contemplative space in which the viewer is engaged in a subtle, yet rewarding forensic examination of the effects that photography, drawing and sculpture have upon our perception of time and the consequent reality of images.
Viola Yeşiltaç was born in Hanover, Germany and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Honoured with a Scholarship by the German National Merit Foundation, Yeşiltaç studied at the renowned School of Fine Art Braunschweig and later received a MFA in Photography at the Royal College of Art London UK.
Yeşiltaç has exhibited works in solo and group exhibitions throughout major venues in Europe, the United States and China including Catherine Bastide Gallery, Brussels; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle; Am Nuden Da, London; Kunstverein Langenhagen, Bundeskunstshalle, Bonn; Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Museum Folkwang, Essen; Sommerakademie Centrum Paul Klee, Bern; Sculpture Center, New York; Artists Space, New York, P.S.1.Contemporary Art Center, New York; Front Desk Apperatus, New York; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva; Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento; and Team 404 & John Armleder Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai.
*This exhibition is phase one in the Cooper Gallery’s Materiality & Metaphysics series.