The series Reclamation is a proposal for a series selected from Berkay Bugdanoglu’s recent works, gathering
them under the concept of entropical justice through the use of rust as material and rust as a burning process.
Following that, the new metal sculpture works (that have been set on fire on purpose) are introduced with this
exhibition to underline the material aspects of Bugdanoglu’s metal paintings with rust, making a clear statement
about the use of rust in his works as well as how it can be perceived as an existential negotiation through
questions regarding entropy.
As we may know, rust is a very slow-burning process, it can be seen as a sense of transformation as well as
decay or destruction. The analogy is traced in other works selected for the series where he depicts forest fires
reminding us of flames and fire once again.
Bugdanoglu has been working with rust in most of his works since the beginning of his artistic career, where he
used this medium to observe an annihilation process where the materials are transformed organically. A
perceptual transition takes over as delicate negotiations of existence are revealed between oil paint and rust,
blurring the seperations in between. This could be traced where the creation phase is paused in each work that
evokes a sense of motion throughout the series. Order is reclaimed, where devolution processes are dominated
by the cycle of chaos and its temporality, rather than emphasizing sole creation. The rebirth of chaos is observed
through time as the aspect of process becomes distinctive.
Reclamation lingers in the line of being, yet-to-be, or used to be – where all these perceptions remain slightly
overlapping each other.
In the selected works, existential data is once again compiled and synthesized meticulously; and references to all
perceptions such as touching or hearing are apparent. The contextual frame is broadened by the selection of
different works bargaining on the same elements.
The only two paintings selected that are painted on inflammable material are the paintings Kirtland’s Song I and II,
which depicts forest fires. The rest of the works are on non-flammable metal pieces painted with rust and oils,
meaning they are undergoing the phase of -physically- burning quietly...
The only interactive work is in the form of an instrument-sculpture, emphasizing on one of the most prominent
factors in his works, which is transience. This interactive sculpture can be interpreted as a plant or a tree, made
from metal, which emits sounds that disperse through interaction with air. Similar to that, the lifespan of the sound
waves dispersed from the sculpture that compiles feedback from the participants and the venue itself are
observably short, underlining the aspect of temporality further, as well as offering a disappearance we can listen
This piece is selected to broaden the sensory aspects of the existential negotiation as the audience is invited to
be part of it, adding a layer of ‘hearing’- an extra layer of existential sensation.
This perspective also surfaces the temporary sense of aesthetics. The sound waves represent the temporality of
everything created by the humankind in relation to the cosmic timeline, in which, all vanishes. This emphasis on
temporality triggers a familiar feeling of awe; the very same peculiar admiration one feels when one encounters a
forest fire. With the same parallel feeling, almost an admiration for entropy, we are reminded of reclamation where
temporariness is what life consists of, as it is the very state of transience itself.
As if the works share a common aspect of sound, one can almost hear the trees crackling and scrunching with fire
and falling to the ground, the sumptuous Venus melting with fire, the rust inaudibly searing and blurring the
horizons on metal landscapes; it is a reclamation of imagery one could listen to within the span of experience of
all that will ever burn quietly.
The works connote an existential consensus as they erase and rewrite the traces of being, witnessing the balance
between the annihilated and the reviving through the coherent use of rust and other references to temporal
existences that are in motion. Referring back to the two paintings of forest fire, Kirtland’s warblers, are bird
species that live in wild fires or forests that are naturally burnt down, it is their very condition of existence to exist
through chaos and destruction. This tie underlines the entropic elements that are inherent in all the works; each sculpture has its own devolution process, depicting various states of existence, and the reclamation of order is
dominated by the cycle of chaos and its temporality.
The powerful gaze of stillness remains strong on the face of ‘Venus’, as our ever-changing aesthetical
judgements, constructed sense of strength, beauty, resistance, amazement; all that is and not will be dust and
air. It could also be seen as an organic gesture from the artist as all the materials he uses are from Earth itself,
although industrial, the very hands-on techniques of Buğdanoğlu emphasizes his own role as a human being in
the same span, thus process, content and medium remain perfectly coherent.
What is just is the realness of temporality, and the awe in which we spectate entropy; a reminder, a reclamation of
existential justice, temporarily reclaimed.