Critics’ Picks

Arslan Sükan, Untitled 5, 2013, C-print on masonite, 67 x 100".

Arslan Sükan, Untitled 5, 2013, C-print on masonite, 67 x 100".

Istanbul

Arslan Sukan

GALERIST
Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:67 1st Floor
September 11–November 2, 2013

Through a process of eradications and slight additions, Arslan Sukan assembles photographs based on the formulaic codes that dominate the installation views of white-cube gallery spaces. His digital images document international venues, many of them familiar and some even identifiable, prompting seasoned art viewers to engage in a memory game of sorts. Each photograph seems to depict a blank space—a pristine gallery emptied of art. A bit like the way Robert Rauschenberg took a Willem de Kooning drawing for the sole purpose of obliterating it, Sukan appropriates installation views from the Internet, erases all traces of visible art, and digitally transforms each interior into a cool white expanse (even removing the architectural corners of rooms)—like a Minimalist vandal effacing conventional images.

Sukan defines his own spaces via a hybrid of appropriation and elimination. In some instances, the shine of the floor reflects what hung on the walls before his interventions. He empties the rooms to emphasize the sites of exhibitions, but in doing so he disrupts the space of display, making the invisible visible—a duality emphasized by the title of the show, “INtheVISIBLE.” The emptiness that pervades the sites creates an uncanny, alien sensibility and highlights the three essential shots—medium, wide, and detail—that make up the classic installation view, interrogating the art-historical record and its standardized documentation practices. Sukan’s photographs are in turn installed to highlight Galerist’s architectural space: One is placed near a doorframe at shin height. By pointing to some of the more quotidian visual experiences offered by the art world, Sukan infiltrates their meaning, even if he ironically reinforces the codes of the white cube and the installation view through his challenge.