MEHMET ALI UYSAL

MEHMET ALI UYSAL

Can we represent time? Can we stop it, freeze it in an instant? Do we perceive space correctly These unsolvable, metaphysical questions often cross our minds when facing a work of art. Uysal’s artistic practice gives perceptible existence to those thoughts. What role exactly does the artist play, in the process of creating an artwork? Such as Don Quixote facing the windmills, he defies the laws of nature through his sculptures, videos and installations. He materializes notions that are theoretically impossible to represent. He twists, shapes, distorts reality, bringing it beyond its boundaries. He offers concrete solutions to abstract problems.

The artist is renowned for his ability to subvert time and space : “Space, as we perceive it, is an illusion, he says. Our eyes only allow us to reconstitute reality in two dimensions, and it is through movement that we grasp the third one. Space is not really something we can see. We feel it”.

Born in Mersin (Turkish) in 1976, Mehmet Ali Uysual lives and works between Paris and Ankara. He studied in Faculty of Fine Arts of Ankara where he obtained his PhD in 2009 (Department of Sculpture) and made an Exchange Program in 2008 in Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Art de Bourges. He is considered as a major figure of Turkish contemporary scene.

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    Born in 1976, lives and works in Ankara, Turkey, where he teaches at the Middle Eastern Technical University

    2009
    Hacettepe University, PhD, Department of Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Ankara, Turkey
    2008
    Exchange Programm, Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Art de Bourges, France

    COLLECTIONS

    Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abou Dabi, UAE
    City of Umea Public Collection (2014 Culture Capital of Europe), Sweden
    Audi Collection (Audi Bank Lebanon) Beirut, Lebanon
    Golden Harvest Group Art Collection, India
    Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh
    Vehbi Koç Foundation Collection, Turkey
    Ozyegin University Collection, Turkey
    Le Vent Des Forets Festival Public Collection, Meuse, France
    Chaudfontaine Parks Public Collection, Liege, Belgium
    Tebdilimekan, Tepe Contemporary Art Space, Istanbul, Turkey
    Taviloglu Collection, Istanbul, Turkey
    Jaidah Brothers Art Collection, Doha, Qatar
    Allianz Collection, Istanbul, Turkey
    Fusun-Faruk Eczacibasi Collection, Istanbul, Turkey
    Capital Partners Art Collection, Istanbul, Turkey
    Kemer Country Club Collection, Istanbul, Turkey

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    2020
    Ne m’abandonne pas, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

    2019
    Don’t Abandon Me, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey

    2016
    Concrete Solutions (To Your Most Abstract Problems) curated by Yann Perreau, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
    Hi!, Sapar Contemporary, New-York, USA

    2015
    Specific Gravity, M 1886, Ankara, Turkey
    BLOCK, Pi Artworks, London, United Kingdom

    2014
    The Past, Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China

    2013
    Pinch me awake, Stiftung Starke, Berlin, Germany
    Painting, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    Art Basel Hong Kong, Pi Artworks, Hong Kong

    2012
    Peel, Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul, Turkey

    2011
    Malist, Q Contemporary, Beirut, Lebanon
    Mist, Etemad Gallery, Dubai, UAE

    2010
    Tebdilibeden, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    Suspended, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey

    2008
    Ex-libris, Galerie Eigenheim, Weimar, Germany

    2007
    Aesthetics Bridging Cultures, XVII International Congress of Aesthetics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

    GROUP EXHIBITIONS

    2019
    A Pillar of Smoke, A Look at Turkey’s Contemporary Scene, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

    2018
    Summer group show, Galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France
    Home is Where the He(art) is, Gallery Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

    2014
    15th METU Art Festival, Ankara, Turkey

    2013
    Contemporary Istanbul’13, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    ArtInternational Istanbul, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey

    2012
    Eyeballing, Ankara Contemporary Arts Center, Ankara, Turkey
    Contemporary Istanbul’12, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    M 1886 Art Projects, Ankara, Turkey
    Pi @ Q, Q Contemporary, Beirut, Lebanon

    2011
    Contemporary Istanbul’11, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    Trade Routes, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    If the Nature is Heaven the City is Hell, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey
    Figure Out, Art Sawa, Dubai, UAE Art Dubai, Pi Artworks, Dubai, UAE

    2010
    Contemporary Istanbul’10, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey
    Floating Volumes, 5533, Istanbul, Turkey
    Floating Volumes, Frise, Hamburg, Germany
    White Out, Kunsthaus Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany
    Festival Cinq Saisons, Chaudfontaine, Belgium Mardin Biennial, Mardin, Turkey
    Faso Fiso, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey
    Cer Modern Opening Exhibition, Ankara, Turkey Out of Context, Pi Artworks, Istanbul, Turkey

    2009
    St-art, 14th European Contemporary Art Fair, Strasbourg, France
    Temporary Harassment, Istanbul 2010 Portable Art Project, Istanbul, Turkey
    Good, Bad, Ugly, Contemporary Art Center, Ankara, Turkey
    In search of lost reality: nevgeneration, Galery Nev, Ankara, Turkey

    2008
    Cruise Experiences, Contemporary Art Center, Ankara, Turkey
    Truths and Mirages, video exhibition, Sofia, Bulgaria
    Jeune Creation, Grand Hall de La Villette, Paris, France
    Sometime, Somewhere, Daire Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey
    Le Vent Des Forets, the Contemporary Art Residency, Meuse, France
    Art Is My Playground, Kucuk Ciftlik Eglence Park, Istanbul, Turkey

    2007
    Gercekci ol, imkansizi talep et! / Be a Realist, Demand the Impossible! (Curated by Halil Altindere), Karsi Sanat Calısmalari, Istanbul, Turkey
    Galeri İçine Karışık Teknik (Mixed Media in a Gallery), Piramid Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey
    Recalls – Reminders, Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey

    2006
    Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
    So Far Away From Here, public space project, Haydarpasa Train Station, Istanbul, Turkey and Ankara Train Station, Ankara, Turkey
    16th TUYAP Art Fair, Istanbul, Turkey
    Golyazi Project, Artist Residency Project, Bursa, Turkey
    Contemporary Art Exhibition, Incheon, South Korea
    Hacettepe University Exhibition, Contemporary Art Center, Ankara, Turkey
    Anarchy, Gazi University Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey
    Art and Money, Siemens Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey

    2005
    24th Contemporary Artists Exhibition, with Jury Special Award, Aksanat, Istanbul, Turkey
    Sculpture exhibition, Gallery Concept, Ankara, Turkey
    Familiarization with the Art and Culture of Europe Project, Multicultural Identity: Cultural Heri- tage, Art, Image, Contemporary Art Center, Ankara, Turkey

    2004
    Unreal Realities, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
    5th Hasanoglan Art Festival Exhibition, Contemporary Art Center, Ankara, Turkey

    1998
    Angora Art Exhibition, Angora Evleri, Ankara, Turkey
    Sculpture exhibition, METU Cultural and Convention Center Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey

    Over the last few years, Galerie Paris-Beijing has been exploring the axis linking Europe to Asia, Paris to Beijing. On its way it knew precisely where to stop: Turkey, a country where the two continents meet. Since the beginning of the century, Istanbul has become a platform for a both innovating and dynamic art scene, of which Mehmet Ali Uysal is undoubtedly one of the most respected figures. Can we represent time? Can we stop it, freeze it in an instant? Do we perceive space correctly These unsolvable, metaphysical questions often cross our minds when facing a work of art. Uysal’s artistic practice gives perceptible existence to those thoughts. What role exactly does the artist play, in the process of creating an artwork? Such as Don Quixote facing the windmills, he defies the laws of nature through his sculptures, videos and installations. He materializes notions that are theoretically impossible to represent. He twists, shapes, distorts reality, bringing it beyond its boundaries. He offers concrete solutions to abstract problems.

    The artist is renowned for his ability to subvert time and space : “Space, as we perceive it, is an illusion, he says. Our eyes only allow us to reconstitute reality in two dimensions, and it is through movement that we grasp the third one. Space is not really something we can see. We feel it”.
    His large-scale installations are shaped from the specificity of each environment they are created for, hence deconstructing our preconceptions. Starting with an allegory, a crashed airplane, this exhibition takes us on another planet, defies our perception of the world, its weight, gravitation, matter, finally revealing itself for what it truly is. We are no longer lured by our senses, as if this well-known sixth one (kinesthesia as scientists call it) was added to the five canonical ones. This more suitable form of sensitivity that the artist creates allows us to feel everything around us.
    With the Peel series (2012) the gallery walls became the artwork. Here Uysal goes one step further: the gallery space becomes the author. The artist steps aside to let the walls, their materials, the specific setting of the space express themselves.

    This exhibition is also a tribute to the artist’s relationship with France, a country he knows well. It can be seen as a subtle and irreverent homage to Cartesianism. In 2008, Mehmet Ali Uysal was artist-in-residence at the Cité International des Arts. He exhibited a large-scale installation in Lorraine (Skin, Vent des forêts).

    Yann Perreau