"3 Artists 3 Practices"

 PILEVNELI Project | Dolapdere
December 20, 2019 - January 19, 2020

PILEVNELI Project is pleased to announce three solo exhibitions by three young artists of diverse styles - Zeynep Solakoğlu, Umut Yasat and Yılmaz Şen. On view at PILEVNELI Dolapdere between December 19, 2019 - January 19, 2020, each exhibition will occupy separate floors at the gallery.


The entrance floor of the gallery is dedicated to Amazonia, Zeynep Solakoğlu’s first solo exhibition. Zeynep Solakoğlu reflects her own life experience through the characters she creates, transforming real-life stories into series of works, which allows her works to be categorized as autobiographical. Working on multiple series at a time, Solakoğlu believes that the characters she have created tend to grow together with her, becoming reflector of her experiences in life.


All of Solakoğlu’s series start with a question and the actual story reveals while searching for the answer. In her works, the artist explores gender roles and traditional masculine and feminine stereotyping that has been set in collective consciousness. In Amazonia, Solakoğlu suggests a contemporary reading of the Amazons from ancient Greek mythology. The Amazons were a race of female warriors. These free women used cut off one of their breasts to throw their arrows comfortably and kept the other one to breastfeed.  They were detached from gender terminology and defined only by their qualities. In time, power has been reduced to physicality and matched to men only.


Solakoğlu’s Amazonia started as a commentary on how these stories, over time, gained ground in social awareness. As the series progressed, the artist and the characters merged. The Amazons and Zeynep Solakoğlu became each other’s reflection. Thus, the series became a person’s story of life just like a mythological story.


The series has four stages: The Warrior, The Healer, The Transformation and The Supernatural. In The Warrior, we witness that the Amazons begin their journey as a warrior, like described in mythology. Only this time, Amazons are like cyborgs, their feet and articulation system are strong. The female elements they used to cut off are now their source of power. Their eyes are always closed, because their senses are strong, they move with instinct.


In The Healer, the Amazons designed with the perfect hardware in every aspect, suffer from a ‘bone tree’ disease, leading to a skin change. This rebirth turns them into healers. The Transformation is the next cycle following their recovery. During this era, the Amazons experience the universe with a complete different approach; colours and shapes break their traditional appearances. Having harmonised their healing power with nature, the Amazons rise to a supernatural stage. In The Supernatural, Amazons are not yet aware of what the universe has in store for them.


On its lower floor, PILEVNELI Dolapdere presents Umut Yasat’s sculpture exhibition, 23/5. In his first solo exhibition in Istanbul, the artist who lives and works in Karlsruhe (Germany), presents works from his Der Stapel sculpture series which he began in 2014. Yasat created the Der Stapel series by combining paintings he produced earlier. Then, he began to insert everyday objects, regardless of their meaning, between each sculpture and numbered them. The artist’s aim is to visualize daily records of life through his sculptures made with found objects. The exhibition’s title features the number of times the Der Stapel was exhibited (25) so far and the number of works shown in the exhibition (5). For this exhibition, Yasat produced his works in Istanbul. He reflected the hazards he encountered in Istanbul through finds he gathered around the gallery.


Last but not least, PILEVNELI Dolapdere’s first floor features Variations by Yılmaz Şen, who lives and works in Copenhagen. His first solo exhibition in Istanbul highlights pieces from three different series. In his works, Yılmaz Şen deals with issues such as subjectivity of human perception and alternative realities. The fact of unpredictability, perception of reality, and motion design are the key elements of his creative process. Most of Şen’s works are animated and he often uses digital visualisation techniques during the research and production phases. PILEVNELI Dolapdere presents three different series made specifically for this exhibition: Facade, I Also Exist in This World and Untitled. Facade is composed of surreal urban landscapes. Through landscapes made of the static images of the city, the visitor observes unexpected distortions in an endless cycle. In I Also Exist in This World, Yılmaz Şen creates a physical space version of his online blog which he actively used between 2012 and 2017. The work consists of a harmonious composition of motion, colour, texture and form of series of aesthetically independent video installations. Untitled is a combination of videos the artist took with his phone and three dimensional visual effect techniques. In this series, the artist approaches movements by renounces human anatomy and physics.


Zeynep Solakoğlu

Zeynep Solakoğlu was born in 1986 in Istanbul. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Bilgi University in Visual Communication Design, she took art history lessons at New York University and Parsons The New School For Design. Although she met art at an early age, her professional career began when she decided to combine the stories she wrote with paintings. Solakoğlu’s works have been exhibited in many group shows. Her book Orange Girl was put up for sale at various venues including SFMOMA and has been exhibited at plenty of exhibitions around the world. Solakoğlu, mainly works with ink and watercolor on paper, although she has also been producing oil on canvas paintings recently. The artist loves legends and folk tales and thinks they connect people as they have common emotional themes.


Umut Yasat

Umut Yasat was born in 1988, in Karlsruhe, Germany. He studied Painting and Graphic Design at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe between 2009 and 2015. In 2015, he continued his Masters Degree with Marcel van Eeden. He won the Junger Western art prize the same year. In 2016, his works have been exhibited in Gerson Hoeger Galerie (Hamburg), Kunstverein Freiburg and M54 Basel. The artist who exhibited at 25m2 Gallery & Project Sapce, Abstract Room and GYNP Gallery in 2018, will open solo shows at The Newsstand Project in Los Angeles and GYNP Gallery in Berlin, in 2020. Alongside engaging in exhibitions, Yasat also participates in guest artist programs and conducted work in the Majhi International Art Residency in Venice, in 2019. Next year, he will join the North Hill Residency in Los Angeles through The Newsstand Project.


Yılmaz Şen

Yılmaz Şen was born in 1988 in Istanbul. He studied Industrial Product Design at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. The artist’s curiosity for animation and three dimensional design began during his academic education. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree, he started making stage and lighting designs for music festivals and night clubs while working as a video jockey. He moved to Copenhagen in 2016. Since 2017, his main focus has been on animation and visual effects. During this time, he worked with brands such as Balenciaga, MTV and Nike.