28.10.2021 – 22.01.2022
Harita is the title Ergül Cengiz gave her new solo exhibition at Galerie Françoise Heitsch. It is the Turkish word for chart, map, city plan and the title of a series of works through which the artist aims to examine the significance of this term on a personal, geopolitical, and artistic level. The names “Oberammergau”, “Davenport”, “Bad Kohlgrub” or “Karlsfeld” on mounted square maps, spread across the walls in the exhibition space will grab the visitors attention. The maps belonged to her father-in-law, they document stations of his life and have simultaneously become a motive of longing for the whole family in paper form. The physical, topographic depictions were imprinted by Cengiz with a geometric pattern in different colours – a hexagon, derived from Islamic ornamentation. The latticed structure draws different borders, forms alternative locations, and re-defines surface distribution. The map is ordered anew through the mathematical perfection of the geometrical net, which, in turn, is confronted with the presumed chaos and arbitrariness of the collage. With the reworking of the original material, the artist layers and interweaves the diverse biographies of her as well as of her spouse’s family; implicitly, however, also of all the people living in the small and bigger places on the map. And she reflects the constructivist nature of border demarcation and mapping, questions of perspective, periphery, and centre. The individual lino-cut prints are put together side by side like a puzzle, and they can be expanded in any possible way – a subtle commentary on plurality and equality of perspectives.
The infinite expandability of single elements, which do not know a hierarchy themselves, is also a feature of the crystalline patterns, which we encounter in form of colourful translucent glassworks on the ground floor. These were created by Ergül Cengiz solely for this exhibition. Geometric colour fields – which sometimes shine in bright, other times in pastel colours – cover the glass vessels over which varicoloured bars overlap, run below each other, or are missing in other places altogether. The motive designed by the artist is based on the principle of Girih tiles, an ornamented form derived from medieval Islamic architecture through which endless variations of complex quasi-crystalline patterns can be created by putting together tiles that are ornated with line motives. The glassworks were created in collaboration with the Bayerische Hofglasmalerei Gustav van Treeck, a Munich-based traditional workshop founded in 1887, specialised in the manufacture and restoration of glass and mosaic works and one of the last of its kind in Germany. The shine through structures, suspended from the ceiling, imbue the exhibition space in atmospheric light and create associations to sacral spaces, light shining through church windows, but also to the accessible spatial installations by James Turell. At close range, each individual colour field allows for a different experience of the space; when contemplated as one, however, they frame the background in a near picturesque, abstracting way and blur in a playful manner the contradictions between back- and foreground, exterior and interior, revelation and obscurity. Cordula Schütz
Malerei auf Glas, 2021