Horasan : When The Time Comes
One of Turkey's seminal multidisciplinary artists, Horasan presents a series of new paintings alongside photography, collage and video work. When The Time Comes, at Pi Artworks London from 7 April - 17 May 2014, will focus on the toll of time, man's quest for immortality and the defiance of the human spirit in the face of the ravages of age.
Time take its toll. It has the power to transform, to create and to destroy, and we, as humans, evolve with it. For Horasan, the aging process is a haunting reminder of our precarious position in this world, and the fact that we have no staying power. He argues that the elderly have no place in today's consumer-driven society. We are obsessed with youth and beauty, as evidenced with our increasing dependence on plastic surgery and the promise of age-defying cosmetics, an act of defiance in the face of nature. However, time is more powerful, and a great leveller, eventually rendering us all equals - indistinguishable in gender, we appear sexless.
When The Time Comes explores temporality, and how it defines what we achieve in our lifetime. Our mortality can weigh us down, but it should also be seen as a need to live life to the fullest while one can. "There are so many places to see, so much information to take in, so many words to be said, but time can run out," says Horasan. "This exhibition was born out of the strange sensation of watching things disappear and die away. It reminds me of the wonder one feels while observing scenes of past incidents - such as accidents or fires. The event is long gone, but its ravages can be seen and felt, leaving behind a memory or imprint of what once was. So too, an old person's face can embody past events." In this exhibition Horasan has sought to create an overlap of the body, object and words - of all the things that are on the brink of extinction, operating on a deadline: "Things that are subject to the rules of time, just as you and I are. When The Time Comes encompasses regret, despair and abandonment - for all the things we must grasp while we still have the time, and all the things that we have let go and can never experience again."
Horasan has drawn inspiration from the film Ballad of Narayama, which tells the tale of a rural village in 19th century Japan in which those who turn 70 years of age - regardless of health and fitness - must go into exile on a mountain until they die of starvation. This is a narrative that resonates with the artist's experience of visiting a friend at a nursing home. "I remember noticing how very fragile human bodies are, and how easily the spirit dies away and disappears, almost carelessly," says Horasan. "However, this disappearance, this extinction of the soul, is actually part of nature's efforts to regenerate itself time after time. It was this interesting bridge between me, the viewer, and those I was watching as part of this cycle that struck me."
In When The Time Comes, alongside video and photographic collage works, we are presented with large-scale portrait paintings, titled only by the years of their subject's birth. Paint is layered then scraped away to create intricate filigree patterns in the background, while thick layers of paint in the foreground depict the folds and wrinkles of faces that evidence long lives lived, yet are indistinguishable in gender.
"If you don't want to miss out on life
Come on, let's take a look now
Come to yourself
Throw away the exhaustion that life has given you,
Time is less than what you think
Come on, wake up,
Now it is TIME to LIVE..."
- Excerpt from the poem Right Time To Live, by Can Yücel
About Horasan: Mustafa Horasan (known as 'Horasan') graduated from Marmara University's Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Graphics in 1986. His background in design and graphics has influenced his artistic style, and he works across a wide range of media, from oil and pastel to drawing and print. His colourful and often collage‐style works are iconic for their exploration of both physiological and psychological space, drawing on the grotesque, on Pop culture influences and real life. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the IMKB Arts Competition, Mimar Sinan University New Inclinations Award, Esbank Yunus Emre Painting Competition and State Paint Exhibition. Horasan's work can be found in international private and public collections, including those of Istanbul Modern, Turkey and the Sharjah Art Museum, UAE.