8 January till 20 February 2017

The Concrete : The Mountain

Residency Müge Yilmaz

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“The Concrete : The Mountain”

A ghillie suit is a type of camouflage suit that is covered with a lush, shredded coat. It is designed to enable the wearer to fully blend into his environment during a hunt or in a war situation. The best ghillies are handmade using natural materials: leaves, twigs and moss for a woody environment or grasses for the Savannah. Ghillie suits are recurring motifs in the work of Müge Yilmaz: they depict a fluid border area in which modern man, detached from nature, appears for a moment to coincide with his archetype.

Müge Yilmaz’s research focuses on the Anthropocene: the epoch in which human activity is beginning to leave its mark on the ecosystem and geology on a global scale. The beginning of the Anthropocene coincides with the end of the Holocene: it is the moment in which the development of human society takes a detour, as man withdraws himself from a holistic world. Müge Yilmaz approaches the transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene from the domain of human emotion. In her work, she searches for ‘trigger points’ – in the form of visual manifestations of nature and technology – that evoke unconscious human reactions, reflexes, instincts, and emotions.

For Müge Yilmaz, the artistic practice is a method to create a profound sense of connectivity as a condition for political change. During her stay in Kunsthuis SYB, Yilmaz will focus on the tendency of modern man to be excessively interested in himself, questioning whether and how this narcissism can be combatted with a certain form of solidarity and atavism (a return of supposedly lost primitive characteristics). During her residency, she wants to research whether this process can be stimulated in a ritual practice that is directed at leading human consciousness back to an ancient mode of perception and experience; an unstructured form of spirituality.

During the first weeks of her residency in Beetsterzwaag, Müge Yilmaz will work on a series of propositions. In the second part, she will gather a team of performers in ghillie suits and arrange them in the woods of Beetsterzwaag as a tableau vivant. Using different configurations, the group will play with positions, interactions and readings of Yilmaz’s propositions as though it were a manifesto. The reactions, feelings and opinions of the performers will largely be decisive for the development of the creative process, and ultimately the result which will be presented in Kunsthuis SYB on the 18th of February.

Müge Yilmaz (Istanbul,1985) studied at the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche in Rome, and was a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2013 until 2014. Her works and performances have recently been shown at the 11th Shanghai Biënnale, SMAK Gent, and in Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen.