Hasan Aksagyın & Virgil b/g Taylor at BPA//Raum / Berlin

Hasan Aksagyın & Virgil b/g Taylor / Pleats


14.09. – 21.10.23 

 

BPA//Raum 

Sophienstraße 21, Sophie-Gips-Höfe, 10178, Berlin 

 Pleats,
or folds, turn the edge of a sheet in on itself—a manifestly two-dimensional
plane becomes more, exceeding itself. Without gaining in surface or mass, we
find it totally transformed. A cloth might hold the trace of the face beneath,
a scrap of lead the potential to contain, where before water might have just
run over it. Action holds the trace of human presence, as well as the desire to
transform, if even for a moment. Pleats, rather than folds, also imply a
certain permanence, a pressing type of hold rather than a temporary
arrangement.
Pleats presents the work of Hasan Aksaygın and Virgil b/g Taylor, held briefly together,
representing and being folded objects.

 

Hasan’s
project, 
The Veil, is a painting series with a short story that
narrates and depicts a piece of cloth in its various folds and
curves. One of the visual influences of this historical and spiritual
speculation is the Catholic myth of 
the Veil of Veronica (or Sudarium, Latin for sweat-cloth, and
known as
Mandylion in Eastern
Orthodoxy
). This
myth can be understood as the beginning of the distinct image-making tradition
of Christianity as compared to other Abrahamic cultures. Parallel imagery can
be found in depictions of the prophet in Islamic miniatures, but with his face
veiled. In taking up the subject of the veil as an agent of both revelation and
secrecy, Hasan explores certain genealogical representations of power,
primarily “
Western” power and its representational subtraction through today’s
neoliberal “self-made panopticon”. To grasp this shift from a theocentric to an
anthropocentric panopticon, Hasan observes the historical flow of images,
starting with religious figures to monarchs, aristocrats to machine-holders,
from the bourgeois to the modern upper-class, and finally to the so-called
democratization of our selfie era, demarcating the highly normalized
post-internet times of narcissistic self-representation. In doing so, his work
also addresses the allegedly anti-colonial preservation of the radical
conservatism of the “East”. Hasan’s pictorial and textual fiction explores the
transgenerational roots of our contemporary and seemingly polarized scopic
regimes, which actually go full circle and eventually coincide in the desires
for both “exposure” and “
concealment,” or “visibility” and “invisibility”.

 

Lead
was used in the pipes that transported water in many cities of the Roman
Empire. Small pieces were removed from the end of these pipes to inscribe
spells to bind one’s fate: bent, bound, twisted, and delivered to sacred spots.
These artifact spells convey a common secret language of the past to the
present, and provide clues to our contemporary world. Today, lead sits heavy on
the roofs of buildings or hides away in pipes running through streets and
buildings older than anyone within them. When exposed to water already poisoned
by industry, heavy atoms leach away, seeking out bodies to settle in, unevenly
and unjustly so. But lead is useful as well: protecting patients from
radiation, insulating sound, and connecting electronics. Lead is abject but
vital, remediated yet still toxic.
Virgil b/g Taylor’s works, collectively
titled
Heavy
Body
, are
not curses, not spells, but the memory of them—a lesson in variant curvatures,
an ancient metal in the present, teaching aesthetics of vitality or lethargy in
which the sacred and profane, toxic and cured can mingle together. 

 

—Hasan
Aksaygın and
Virgil
b/g Taylor

 

 

Alongside the exhibition, Pleats, an event series, Folds, hosts Onur Çimen,
Rapha Linden, Patty Nash,
İz Öztat, and Ashkan Sepahvand, and will unfold as an
activation of the familiar lines between the two bodies of work. At the
invitation of the artists, their friends will read and tell stories around
topics related to
Pleats and Folds, touching upon the effects
of spiritual traditions (Abrahamic or otherwise) on the bodies that
materialize art today, and what veils and unveils them. After the unveiling of
their spells, Hasan and Virgil will provide a site for new and old stories to
sort themselves out. 

Folds 1:
17.09.2023, 15:00

Folds 2: 21.10.2023, 16:00

 

 

Hasan Aksaygın is a conceptual painter and a (para-)fictional storyteller
from the occupied territories of Cyprus who explores the personal and
collective, visual and textual subconscious.

 

Onur Çimen
is a writer, who works on various modes of sharing texts/narratives.

 

Rapha Linden is a writer living in Berlin. They hold an MFA from New
York University.

 

Patty Nash’s poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, Sixth Finch,
West Branch, Oversound, and more. Her first book, Walden Pond, will be published by Thirdhand Press in Spring 2024.

 

İz Öztat explores the persistence of violent histories through
forms, materials, space, and language. She responds to absences in official
historiography through spectral, intergenerational, and speculative fictions.
She fabricates the (auto)biography of Zişan (1894–1970), who appears to her as
a historical figure, a ghost, and an alter ego.

 

Ashkan Sepahvand is an artist, writer, and researcher. He was born in Tehran,
Iran, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lives and works mostly in Berlin,
Germany. His practice takes time. His work includes publications, performances,
and regular collaborations with friends. He is interested in words and bodies.

 

Virgil b/g Taylor makes fag tips, an online speculative zine. He is
one-half of sssssssssSsss, a study-friendship with Ashkan Sepahvand. His work
explores histories of care, crisis, exclusion, and toxicity.

 

 

BPA// Berlin program
for artists
is an artist-run
mentoring program f
ounded in 2016 by
Angela Bulloch, Simon Denny and Willem de Rooij. It facilitates exchange
between emerging and experienced Berlin-based artists through coordinated
studio visits and meetings. The program is funded by the Senate Department for
Culture and Community.

www.berlinprogramforartists.org

 

BPA// Raum is a platform for artistic exchange. It is
operated by BPA// Berlin program for artists and organized by Sophia Yvette
Scherer and Anna-Lisa Scherfose.

 

Poster: fag tips, Pleats, 2023

Design: Workout
Services 

Copy Editor: Jayne
Wilkinson

Editor: Anna-Lisa Scherfose