SERVET KOÇYIĞIT - TRUTH SERUM

Opening: Thursday, November 27, 2014
November 27, 2014 - February 7, 2015
curated by Silvia Cirelli

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From 27 November 2014 to 7 February 2015, Officine dell’Immagine in Milan will be hosting the first solo exhibition in Italy by Servet Kocyigit (Kaman, 1971), one of the most interesting contemporary Turkish artists.
Curated by Silvia Cirelli, the exhibition, titled Truth Serum, presents a selection of works, including photographs, installations and videos, never before exhibited in Italy, able to interpret Kocyigit's most recent artistic career, accentuating the sarcastic and provocative slant.

Servet Kocyigit's current expressive research captures the intimate mapping of a country, Turkey, which for several decades has been precariously balanced between East and West, between the secular and Islamic states, in an unending dispute between the desire for modernisation and the preservation of tradition.
This dialectic is explored with great originality, translating the ambivalence of his own nation and especially shifting the focus towards a more collective dimension, which skilfully evokes the unreliability of the truth and its misleading alteration.
These stylistic features have certainly been influenced by his personal experience. We must not forget, in fact, that his generation grew up after the 1980 coup, when increasingly strict censorship forced people to believe in an undisputed and above all imposed truth.
The precariousness of the truth as well as its comparison with the concept of freedom play a major role in his poetic synthesis. “It was through art itself - Kocyigit has stated - that I really understood what freedom was.”

The Milan exhibition opens with the Truth series from 2011: three large-format photographs in which the artist plays on the theme of power, fame and the deceptive transience of things. A group of menacing journalists and cameramen are seen endlessly spying on an unspecified celebrity, who is never seen and about whom we know nothing. It is the almost fierce ambiguity of the craving for a scandal that becomes more important than the news itself.
The exhibition continues with Doc (2008), a picture taken on the banks of the Tigris, focusing on the value of water in certain Eastern cultures and its social and religious connotations, which here take on a sarcastic connotation.
In addition to the photographs, Night Shift from 2012 and Mountain Zebra from 2008, the exhibition also presents Sometimes (2005), an entirely hand-stitched installation bearing the phrase “Sometimes I check the fridge ten times to see if it is really closed.” The work is motivated by an underlying ironic paradox: while, on one hand, the compulsive act of checking the fridge is compared to the methodical embroidery of the letters - the result of many months of work - on the other, the banality of the message seems to almost take away from the value of the work itself, reducing it to mere decoration.
The exhibition ends with the new pieces 99 years and Orbit (2014), a video and installation presented in Milan for the very first time. In this case, Servet Kocyigit moves towards a reflection of the mythological kind, investigating the mystery of the world creation, the suspended dimension of time and the interpretation of the dualism between man and woman and the respective balances in terms of relationships.

Biography
Servet Kocyigit was born in Kaman (Turkey) in 1971 and currently lives and works between Amsterdam and Istanbul. He graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 1997.
He has numerous exhibitions in major museums throughout the world to his credit, such as the MuCEM Museum in Marseilles (2013), the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) in Oslo (2012), the ARTER Space For Art in Istanbul (2010), the Palais Des Beaux Arts De Lille in France (2009), the Smart Project Space in Amsterdam (2008), the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel (2007), the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (2006), the MuHKA-Media in Antwerp (2005), the De Appel Center for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam (2001) and the Wilheim Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany (2000), as well as participations to Festivals and Biennials, such as the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China ( 2012), the Biennale Cuvée in Linz (2008), the Biennial in Sao Paulo (2006) and the one in Istanbul (2005).


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