Time is a trajectory segmented into regular, repeatable, and measurable units - seconds, minutes, hours, and days. Our perception of time's passage is far less linear, affected by the nature of remembering and forgetting. Aslan's recent practice is influenced by both his recollections, as well as his impressions of the malleability of our perception of time. These memories, half remembered, half forgotten, draw him to certain objects he comes across in his day-to-day life that recall his past. He playfully manipulates them to form surreal constructions that fuse his personal associations with new and unexpected interpretations.
In The Perfect Day (2015) the process of artistic creation is laid out for the visitor to see. On the artist's otherwise clear worktable, a meat-grinder appears to extrude twisted lengths of multicoloured neon. Against the back wall, three rings of neon have been looped and hung up. Finishing this triptych, one of Aslan's hybrid porcelain figures stands, garlanded with neon, on a readymade wallpaper landscape. The pieces that make up the installation are ambiguous and devoid of any immediately obvious significance, with even their titles containing only the vaguest allusions to the artist's thoughts. The neon tubes, which are exhibited as rigid and intractable, are presented as the opposite a limp and malleable material that has been spun and slung to the side. It looks like an organic, raw material, like clay, ready to be picked up and played with by the artist. This deceives the visitor and gives the impression of a work in progress on the verge of becoming 'finished'.
Volkan Aslan, b. 1982. Major exhibitions include; A Good Neighbour, 15th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2017), Passion, Joy, Fury, Maxxi Museum, Rome, Italy (2015); The Perfect Day (solo), Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2015); A Day Not Yet Lived (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2014); The Moving Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Mom, am I a barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); If Nature is Heaven, Hell is The City, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey (2011); Too Good to be True, Delfina Foundation, London, UK (2009); and Save As, Milan Triennial, Italy (2008). Public and private collections holding his work include Özyeğin University Collection, Turkey, Pizzuti Collection, USA, Rodney D. Lubeznik Collection, USA, and Vehbi Koç Foundation, Turkey. Aslan is also co-founder of 5533, an independent non-profit art space in Unkapanı, Istanbul.
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