Pi Artworks Istanbul is proud to present Don’t Abandon Me, the 5th solo exhibition of Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal. Don’t Abandon Me opens on the 22nd of March and runs until the 11th of May 2019. Uysal’s last show at Pi Artworks Istanbul took place at the gallery’s previous space, the historically relevant Misir Apartment, in 2013. Now, six years after his hugely successful project Painting, where the artist interfered with the gallery walls by using plaster canvases, Uysal returns to Istanbul with a brand new series.
Do Not Abandon Me is a progression from Uysal’s 2015 London exhibition BLOCK. The show is named after Argentinian artist Nicolás Bacal’s black-pencil work (Ne m’abandonne pas) that is on display on the walls of Uysal’s home in Paris. In Don’t Abandon Me, Mehmet Ali Uysal recreates and collates parts of the 14 houses where he has lived since his childhood, as well as the memories that remain of these locations.
Uysal believes that the mind shapes our perception of events, so that our recollection of occurrences are biased, and that this perception shifts with time. According to this thought, the reality experienced in a home creates and adds to the consciousness of the physical space, which in turn intrinsically records all occurrences taking place within its four walls. By means of the works, which are exclusively created for Don’t Abandon Me, Uysal wishes to transcribe and share with the viewer some of the memories that would have otherwise vanished from his mind.
“I have lived in 14 different houses; during childhood, adolescence, university years, the years living abroad... The houses I lived in have been recorded in some of the memories that I have created when inhabiting them. When I say recorded, I mean a rough record; both in my memory and in the memory of the places... But my recollection transforms as I change. Even though they give me comfort emotionally, the loss of some of these moments also causes anxiety. In time we loose memories, not only the bad ones. As a result we also forfeit some of the good moments, and I believe that in essence we all try to resist that from happening,“ says Uysal.
Mehmet Ali Uysal is known for his large-scale installations that transform the environment in which they are situated. They manipulate our perception of that space. Uysal’s best-known outdoor sculptures are situated in Belgium, France, Monaco, Mexico, Sweden, the USA, and Turkey. Uysal’s latest public space project “Affinity”, has recently been revealed by the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Culture during the opening of the 2019 ‘Special Olympics’ in Abu Dhabi.
Mehmet Ali Uysal, b. 1976, Paris. Major exhibitions include; A Pillar of Smoke, Arles International Photo Festival, France (2018); Hi! (solo), Sapar Contemporary, New York, ABD (2016); BLOCK (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2015); The Past (solo), Pearl Lam Gallery, Shangai, China (2014); Pinch Me Awake (solo), Stiftung Starke, Berlin, Germany (2013); Painting (solo), Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Peel (solo), Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul, Turkey (2012); Eyeballing, Contemporary Art Centre, Ankara, Turkey (2012), If the Nature is Heaven, the City is Hell, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey (2011); Abbara Kadabra, 1st Mardin Biennial, Turkey (2010). Major collections include; Audi Collection (Audi Bank Lebanon), Beirut, Lebanon; City of Umea Collection, Sweden; Chaudfontaine Parks Public Collection, Belgium; Golden Harvest Group Art Collection, India; Istanbul Modern Collection, Turkey; Le Vent des Forets Festival Public Collection, France; Özyeðin University Collection, Turkey; Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh and Vehbi Koc Foundation, Turkey.