EMPIRES AGO

anna laudel contemporary

13.8.18 < 4.11.18

“Empires Ago,” Daniele Sigalot’s first solo exhibition in Istanbul, refers to the magnificent heritage of empires past which we still carry within ourselves. Taking the current and past traces humanity has left on culture as his starting point, the artist visualizes the city silhouettes on

gold-plated and stainless steel maps. Cities, which contain within themselves both the benevolent and malignant potential of humankind, have been conveyed through the filter of the painters’, writers’ and travelers’ imagination for hundreds of years. And maps are the most genuine memories of the cities.

Starting from the fact that we see our own reflections in the cities, the artist invites us to observe our auto- portraits in the maps of İstanbul and Rome, treated to give the impression of mirrors. He questions the connection between our identity and where we live.

In Sigalot’s works; elements such as color, materials, composition and titles are planned to support polysemy in the subjective perception. Therefore, in Sigalot’s art, the selection of medium is not just a process based on aesthetics, but also about the rediscovery of perception and matter.

In Sigalot’s art, the conceptual resonance created by words makes use of cultural references. Thought communicated by an image is reconstructed through language and invites the observer to the production of meaning.

“3900 sponges,” an installation of colorful pom-poms to be exhibited in Istanbul for the first time, approaches the relationship between the true nature of things and its perception by society in the manner of an illusionist. These man-made industrial products which, at first sight, resemble organic forms in nature decipher the synthetic lives we created. They remind us that we live in a simulation and also question our identities behind our social media accounts and masks.

On the third floor of the exhibition, the aluminum works resembling scrunched and discarded paper introduce us to the pain of the creative process. It calls attention to the long process behind ideas that appear to have come to mind just like that.

The double entendres Sigalot uses skillfully in his art to address the process of reprocessing of old ideas to make them usable again, evoking the recycling process in nature.

“Everything That Could Have Been but Wasn’t, Now Is” the most current work of the artist, was created in Istanbul. It represents all of the bad ideas Sigalot produced throughout his life. The giant volume of the work narrows down the space and creates a claustrophobic feeling. It emphasizes the blocks and tensions the individual experiences during the creative process.

There are no bad ideas according to Sigalot, but only repetitive intuition. Indecisions and contradictions are parts of the creative process. The work entitled “Inconsistently Logical” is where we start to recognize this feeling. The lotus flower form of the work has a symbolic meaning. This immaculate plant, which grows in muddy waters, symbolizes clarity of mind and spiritual enlightenment.

The encounter of language with plastic interaction is not a coincidence in Sigalot’s work. It offers indicators that involve the observer actively in the thought process.

One of the side effects of bad ideas is the fear to retry. Yet, continuity and consistency are the factors that bring success in art. Sigalot touches life with nuanced sarcasm when he visualizes thousands of failures behind success in the perfect shape of a circle.

Finally, we see selected works from the letter and post-it series in the exhibition. The irony in the letters the artist writes to art, future and destiny has the power of both a universal and subjective feeling.

Daniele Sigalot’s work steers us towards questioning the multiple/plural nature of meaning in an age in which the concepts are eviscerated.

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