Rooted Matters, 2016 Ceramics, 37x33x41 cm, Unique 

An Ottoman vase, known for its stylized beautiful floral décor, immersed to the lump of clay that the object is also made of. It is no longer clear whether it’s captivated by or created from the material. The direct translations of the real flowers with its imperfect renderings to emphasize the unprocessed nature without any stylization. The work is a part of the series that problematizes the material ceramics and it's history by making formal experiments. 

Temporary Permeable, 2016
Site-specific installation; ceramics, wallpaper, 290x180 cm 

This work, which was created for the exhibition Nature Morte curated by Marcus Graf, approaches to the idea of nature with both floral and cultural point of view. The idea of temporariness, which states that everything has a certain lifespan, is fixed to the material ceramics and wallpaper ironically with a decor made out of dying flowers. Traditional Ottoman ceramic vessels emerge and/or hide themselves on this rich floral texture, and become one with the time and space. These vessels, that we can’t tell whether if they are appearing or disappearing, get hung somewhere between this finite process. Temporary Permeable recalls the garden and craft culture that is no longer a part of Istanbul through incomplete vessels and flowers left to rot. 

Ceramics, 28x21x26 cm
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Unforeseen Resistance installation view, 2015, Galeri Zilberman, Istanbul

(Detail - Scenery - Surface), 2015, Ceramics, marker and watercolor on paper, wallpaper, variable dimensions 

 

“Burçak Bingöl brings together a scene from a 17th Century Persian miniature with the recent political events in Gezi Park in her piece Unforeseen Resistance (2015). The original miniature, a tile panel in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, depicts a garden picnic. Vessels, vases and other crockery decorated with floral motifs are strewn across the grass, similar floral motifs appear on the figures’ dress. There is no real distinction between the opulent flora in the garden, its surrounding landscape and representations of nature used as decoration on crockery and garments. What is camouflaging or decorating what, and which came first: art or nature? All the visual elements of the tile dissolve into each other in one magnificent homogenised layer. In her project Bingöl reverses this process: her sculpture - modelled after a commonly used Ottoman vase - is growing out of its source material, a clump of clay. Is the object resisting the clay and breaking free from it, or is it subordinated by its own source material and imprisoned by it? It is hard to say, but the cracks of a struggle show visibly in the work. Gone is the flat surface of the miniature. Bingöl has bestowed volume and a sculptural presence onto her vase. Her decorative element is a controversial one: grass from Gezi Park. In May 2013 Gezi Park became the backdrop and symbol of nationwide unrest. Starting originally as a protest against plans to turn Gezi Park, one of the last green spaces around Istanbul’s Taksim area, into a shopping mall, protesters “occupied” the park in ways the gentry in the Persian miniature did. They sat on the grass, asserted their presence, held picnics…until the police violently broke it up. Soon the protest turned into broader demonstrations against the AKP government’s increasing encroachment on freedom of expression and other civic liberties, as well as on Turkey’s secularism. Fast forward to 2015 and the situation in Turkey has deteriorated on every front. The Gezi protests, like the grass motifs on the vase, left their indelible mark on Turkish society. The question of what this means in the long run is, like Bingöl’s object’s relationship to its material, an uneasy one.”*

 

*Excerpt from the catalogue of the exhibition Minor Heroisms, curated by Nat Muller

The Fall II, 2015 Ceramics, plexiglass, 24x45x24 cm 

The work problematizes the idea of making. It builds itself with the broken shard of a typical traditional ceramic vessel. It reveals visual information with the glamorization oozes out of the cracks of a broken Ottoman vase. The secret potential of the local history is expressed with today’s point of view, while the pieces come together to form a fragile whole again. 

Self-Conscious, 2015 Video, 43”, Ed. 5+1 A.P. 

Self-Conscious (2015) is a video work defines a threshold of the artist’ practice where past and present collides into each other to form an alternative construction for the future. 46 seconds-long still video was shot in her new studio in Istanbul where she eventually settled in 2011. The work portrays a highly conscious precarious moment that seeks ways to relate the now and then. The artist sits on Daydreamer (2011), a fragile, one person ceramic table and a chair, placed in front of Cruise (2014), a ceramic life-size truck. She wears a dress from a site-specific installation Unforeseen Transformation (2011) with her hair decorated with fresh leaves from Gezi Park. While a Victorian wallpapers hang down and divide the place, various works and different patterns from east and west blends in and composes this quite personal diorama for the unglazed Ottoman vase that stands still on the edge of the table waiting for a shift to have a new form.

The artist not only reflects to her own history but also reflects to the very meaning of the material ceramics on that very specific geography and seeks alternative ways of coming to terms with a loaded heritage. 

Ceramics, 28x21x26 cm
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Barbie Blues, 2013, Ceramics, 28x21x26 cm / pedestal d:30 cm, h:110 cm

Burçak Bingöl, in her sculpture named ‘Barbie Blues’, deals with a world order where nothing can be ideal. Here however, we are faced with a beauty that is idealized as the symbol of Western beauty. One half of Barbie’s body is covered in a depressive blue, making a reference to ‘the blues’. Barbie is quiet in her deep sadness. On a table as wide as her height, she broods over the future in her deep sadness, as if to make a reference to Rodin’s “The Thinker”. She fears a world where ideal beauty may disappear. With her mind all topsy-turvy with intercultural notions of beauty, she questions the meaning of existence.”*

 

*Excerpt from the catalogue of the exhibition The Way We Were, curated by Ferhat Özgür

Gold glazed ceramics, 27x55x17 cm, Ed. 3+1 A.P.
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Maneuverability -Part I - II & III, 2012
Gold glazed ceramics, 26x51x26 cm, Ed. 3+1 A.P 

This work was made out of gold glazed ceramics by molding a vehicle’s water tank. The form comes from the function, which is to contain the maximum amount of liquid. The work re-defines the relationship between form and function and which comes first. As a functional object transforms and looses its functionality, the intricate form exists only for it visuality. This work that puts forward the form-or formlessness- of the object which is only determined by its function, reinventing the relationship between ceramic and the container that goes way back to ancient period, from an industrial point of view and transforms an average industrial waste into a sculpture by emphasizing the subjects of visuality and value. 

 

Impact, 2014
Velvet, metal, 105x95x40 cm 

The work decontextualized a car’s hood that is wrecked in an accident by covered with burgundy velvet. Pieces of the car examine the relationship between art and industry by focusing on the duality between the unique and mass production. As the unfortunate errors become monuments with the idea of “accident”, an industrial waste covered in velvet and transforms the perception with its feminine character. 

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Permeable

Burçak Bingöl’s new works on paper reflect her dense cultural heritage and extend her continued fascination with patterns. Through her choice of a vivid floral pattern, Bingol acknowledges the influence of Islamic tradition. Through her labor-intensive process of tracing, copying and reconstructing she adopts an analytical approach to ornamentation. The works convey an unusual sense of order, although they are largely made up of non-symmetrical lines and patterns. This “mandala” like form alludes to a spiritual journey, without offering any clearly defined narratives. In fact, the works are organic (psychological) landscapes that hover between abstraction and representation, seduction and repulsion, mysticism and consumption that both embrace and disregard Eastern and Western tradition.