Eser Gunduz | Fontaine & Metropolis: London

1 - 14 June 2022

Fontaine & Metropolis

 

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For centuries, early societies tried to make sense of the unknown, the anomaly, the strange, explaining mystery through what they’ve known, seen and believed.

 

Our ancestors created a collective visual memory of monsters based half on authentic forms given by nature and on mythical forms based on collective memory.

Collective memory is determined by myths and stories that represented fears rather than real-life experiences.

 

The fear of the unknown encouraged people to produce and create a certain imagination and knowledge in order to protect themselves as well as future generations.


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Then, later on from the late 18th century to the 19th century, due to the influence of the industrial revolution and the rise of machines, especially in Great Britain, a new imaginary world inspired by technology aroused great excitement in the western societies.

 

Despite the excitement and hope, soon, the industrialized world became a dystopic reality where humans served the machines and not the other way around. The world became a place without solace to the individual.

From this progress and change in the society, a negative perception of machines was established: The fear of “machines-taking-over-human-race”. This fear was palpable, reasonable and fair.

 

During the dark industrial period, fear of the unknown could be seen through creative and visual productions. Culturally this represented an enormous shift, dark dystopic productions overshadowed artistic renditions of the former collective imaginary of a magical world linked to nature, and culture imagined a post-industrial world with a unique and homogenous dark vision of the future.

 

In the “Fontaine” series, Eser Gunduz offers a journey to a geographical area. A space marked by the creative tradition of fears and the magical world.

Inspired by the historical site in the south of France, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Gunduz reflects the magical ambience of the area hidden between mountains, waterfalls and a castle with an iconic fish in the blazon of the city. The gloom of nature, its dark forms, and their reflections on the human mind have been the main inspiration of Gunduz in this collection.

 

For the “Metropolis” works, the essence of a new ‘unknown’ during the industrial period is what inspires the artist; Gunduz reflects upon the convergence between the human body and machine as two clashing powers of the era.

Machines of the industrial period take the places of the old magical world’s monsters. Gunduz consolidates two esthetics in this unifying series: natural and mechanical, magical and rational, always picturing an image of the unknown.