Photo Series, 2012.

“One of the central themes in the work of Hatice Guleryuz is our relation to reality and the ways in which we construct and re-construct the world around us – both conceptually and physically. Each artwork seems to articulate how these processes depend on our own position in that world. One body of works that exemplifies this dynamic beautifully is the series of large-scale photographs titled Imprints (2012). The captivating images of the Northern Californian landscape are a compelling testimony of man’s age-old efforts to master his environments in order to provide in his basic needs: food, shelter etcetera. When we look closely, we can still see the traces of hard labour: Inch by inch, the rough landscape is divided into different patches and turned into agricultural land. However, when we zoom out, these black and white images of agricultural activity turn into beautiful geometrical patterns. Constellations of evenly balanced circles and squares in black, white and different shades of grey appear amidst the rough landscape, imposing an almost symmetrical order onto the wild and untamed land. At once, the images enter into a different realm defined by an aesthetic and an artistic language, leaving behind their agricultural function (and use-value). Once we change perspective, once we zoom out and quite literally detach ourselves from the ground, the image’s connotation shifts from function to form and we (re)construct its meaning accordingly.

The title of the series, Imprints, refers to the two-directional dynamic of constructing and re-constructing reality: we literally construct the world around us, thereby shaping our own destiny, and at the same time we reconstruct and interpret this reality through our own imagination and projections.

This duality, or shifting between positions and perspectives is very characteristic of Hatice Guluryuz work and artistic practice. She herself often refers to this dynamic by referring to two opposite, yet mutually depended, scientific modes of reasoning – that other way of relating to reality – namely, deduction and induction. By applying deductive reasoning, also known as “top-down logic”, we move from the general to construct the detailed, and inversely, when we apply inductive reasoning, we move from the detail, i.e. the bottom, to construct a more general picture. Both are equally valid, however we can also see the ideological implications of both methods. Either way round, they are abstractions, based on a logic systematic reasoning, leaving little room for the particular, the incompatible or the extraordinary.”

— Christel Vesters, Critic & Curator



“A line of six large C-print black and white photographs, each taken from an airplane, show a variety of terrains — rivers, valleys, crop circles, highways — in California. “These are man-made constructions,” Güleryüz says. “We lose the meaning of city [here]. Instead, it’s mapping, or placing oneself in reality. Living abroad, I can see the landscape. In Turkey, I see things more psychologically. It’s an insider/outsider issue.” These photos, taken in 2012-13 before the Gezi events, give a curiously distant view of Güleryüz’s inner landscape. The painting collection created after Gezi, however, focuses a detailed eye on a personal and perilous terrain.”

— Alexandra Ivanoff