Galerie Raum mit Licht



»HOLE OR SCREEN (HER BODY, A FRAGMENT)« including works by Karin Fissltaler, Käthe Hager von Strobele, John Hilliard, Olena Newkryta, Eva Stenram

Opening: Thursday 17 March 2016 19:00
Exhibition: 18 March - 13 May 2016


Look, it happens to me, that at times my hands
become aware of each other, or that my worn face
hides itself in them. That gives me a slight
sensation. But who would dare to exist only for that?

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Second Duino Elegy

The self as a sign, partes extra partes, being oneself means being exposed by necessity, being outside.

Özlem Altin takes reflection on the notion of hole or screen, gap or projection surface, like a guiding thread as the title of her exhibition at Galerie Raum mit Licht.
There, where I am, is the empty, flexible positioning of the personal pronoun, that is where the subject-constituting power of the mirror is also in effect. The self pre-empts itself as an imaginary physical whole in the gaze of the other.
Her body, a fragment, a shard of the fractal and hologram of an invisible increase in the complexity of connections. Her body is fragmented.
Özlem Altin uses found images in her work, as well as a number of photographs she has taken herself.
A collector of images, drawn by particular details she uses the material as stock. She selects excerpts, enlarges, overlaps double-exposures, collages and paints over "her" pictures. These fragments of images turn into a gaze of ones own in a radical process of appropriation, as fragments of the self are plucked with eyes from the surrounding setting.
The faces are clearly missing.
Bodies, turned away from the viewer, obscure one another. One double-exposed image overlaps another. A head is enveloped in black; the body is acephalous, headless.
Hands substitute the absent gazes in dense, dream-like black-and-white scenes. They are emphasised, isolated from context and shown in gestures and as haptic. The bodies are condensed by invisible forces, the gestures of the hands allude, in contrast, to a fragmentary code, becoming symbols, pointing towards something as enigmatic as it is ineluctable.
The sensation of sensing oneself. Sensing one hand's presence with the other creates the space. Every sensual perception, including that of sight, is a form of touching, of being touched; body and memory are physically connected.
Pictures are usually intended to be viewed from a distance, however the photograph is the trace inscribed as contact and imprint.
Özlem Altin has selected a number of works by artists of the gallery and inserted them as integral elements in her exhibition. These works become phrases in a statement, the installation becomes an arrangement of links. Aspects of photographic modes of representation are shifted into view, alongside the indexical signs of the traces they are special in their irreversibility and as excerpts. On the other hand, the works by the other artists manifest themselves as triggers for associations, scattered pieces of mirror in which a detail is broken and carried further. The artist treats these images, too, as found imagery capable of establishing a surprising context not available to intentional thinking.
These objets trouvés are like persistent symptoms. They allude to the sometimes interrupted narrative of the self, to the moment captured therein.

Text: Daniela Hölzl
Translation: Jonathan Quinn

(Born 1977 in Goch, DE)
is currently represented in the presentation of the collection at the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz. Her works have been in numerous group and solo shows abroad over the past five years: Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin; Circus, Berlin (2013); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2013); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2013); Leopold–Hoesch–Museum, Düren (2012); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2011); and Fondazione Morra Greco, Napels (2010).

Özlem Altin lives and works in Berlin.