Turkish Cypriot painter, Emin Çizenel talks about his “Insula” exhibition in the February issue of Art Times.

The “Insula” exhibition was an event that had brought together works that were executed during different periods of time by Emin Çizenel ,which he had named “Drawers”, and were comprised of four different sections. The exhibition which had overlapped in perfect harmony with four different sections of the Art Rooms space, was the artist’s most comprehensive exhibition in his 40 year old career, as well as the first solo exhibition at the Art Rooms gallery.

Even though these works, which can also be seen as reflections of the subliminal layers of the artist, were executed during different times,and fundamentally they are interconnected and are in constant dialogue with one another. The exhibition as well as putting on display what the artist had internalized and gave shape to the political, cultural and ecological transformations the island had experienced ,and the devastations that it had endured , also provokes us to question ourvery own existence with its section that comprises “a fantastic tale.”

A.T. : Why “drawer” and why works from different periods?

E.Ç. : “What does Nietzche mean with his description of “first nature” and the creation of “second nature” by settling scores with the past? Since we are the products of the previous generations (first nature) we are also the products of their distortions, passions and mistakes. But we can create a second nature by settling accounts with these and eradicate their negative effects. This is an exacting and dangerous business, because Nietzche believes that the second natures are always weaker than the first ones: “What happens frequently is this: we do know that good is but we do not do it. Because we also know what is even better but we can not do it.”

INSULA is an “island” story where art does not tell a tale… “four drawers” that are layered and that deepens in the archeology of the very privacy of the artist. The literal form of being an islander, just like elegizing for something that has been lost. What has been acknowledged until Walter Benjamin, “memory chambers”. As I said they do not tell a tale. “four chambers” that rejects exoticised statement forms, that have been visualised and separated metaphorically. The “other face” of the ideas that I carry about this island, a way of action that I have chosen for myself. Insula is the drawing of the island that I live in and that will be installed in my body and soul as a second “islet”. At the same time it will also await to be explained.It will generate important, mysterious, overwhelming, profound loves and the familiar crowds at lands that become isolated at dark seas.

It can be gauged from the words here Emin Çizenel; with his works that carry the soul and experiences of the island, with his experience, knowledge and approach to events; is a very unique person and a very valuable artist for this island.

 

22 February 2019