Transgressing the boundaries of architecture Serkan Özkaya will install four cameras outside of the four gallery walls and will project the feeds on their interior surfaces, respectively. Which means, you can see through the wall!
The exhibition space of Postmasters is a white cube that is adjacent to an alleyway, an apartment building, the gallery office and the second art gallery.
When standing within An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in New York you are inside, yet witnessing what's happening outside. You look at projections of live feeds of what is happening right outside the space you occupy, separated by a thin -sometimes thick- wall.
What you see gives you an urgent impulse to try it out and rush outside and appear on the projection while somebody else is watching it but you can't be in two places at the same time, can you? You're either inside of the art gallery, watching the world or outside of the gallery; in the world, being potentially watched.
Özkaya also discovered that the best height for this capture was not eye-level but chest level. Somehow images at that height felt more convincing. Which makes you think that maybe we don't see with our eyes only, but that we scan the surroundings with our body.
This is an attempt at magic by an artist who turns things upside down and who loves tumbling into the rabbit holes his artworks unravel before him.
While doing some test shots, the artist said "I was mesmerized by the image and couldn't take my eyes off it. The screen became a film scene. It filled me up with expectation that something will happen in the very next instance. And of course nothing happened or maybe everything happened. Life was happening."
As the great George Perec had written in his "Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris" in 1974: "This is what happens when nothing happens; otherwise, time, people, cars and clouds."
In the current political climate where building walls and isolationism drives the national debate the artist presents a metaphor for taking down of the barriers and walls, demystifying the phenomenon of the classic white box.
Acclaimed South African novelist Margie Orford will spend 3 full days in the gallery and take notes of the events outside via the wall projections. These notes can be accessed online on Postmasters Gallery's website.
PS. Due to unforeseen circumstances the artist will not be attending the opening, he will dwell outside, witnessing to be witnessed.
Serkan Özkaya is an award winning conceptual artist whose work deals with topics of appropriation and reproduction, and typically operates outside of traditional art spaces. Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1973 Özkaya holds an M.F.A. from Bard College, NY, and a Ph.D degree form Istanbul University. His latest works include, "MyMoon", an augmented reality app; "Mirage", a shadow of a passenger airplane periodically crossing the space installed at the Postmasters Gallery in New York and in 2015 at the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection in Istanbul, Turkey; and "David (inspired by Michelangelo)", double-sized of the original installed at 21c Museum in Louisville. Özkaya's works have been shown internationally including 6th Shanghai Biennial, 7th International Santiago de Chile New Media Biennial, 9th International Istanbul Biennial, City Museum Helsinki & Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art, Tallinn Museum of Modern Art, Sparwasser HQ to name a few. Özkaya is also a co-founder of +ArtApp., an organization dedicated to research and expansion of knowledge around the nascent App Art medium.