ABOUT WEBSITE: The Green Lights is an annual exhibition hosted by the graduating fine art students of Minerva Art Academy. It serves not only as an assessment during which the students aim to get their ‘green light’ to graduate, but as an opportunity to independently create a public exhibition. Faced with the challenge of bringing together 55 unique practices, we’ve based this year’s Green Lights around the Art Spectrum, a compass navigating different positions, approaches and cultures within the fine arts. Where do we stand? What does it stand for? These are the questions we raise rather than answer as we try to materialise the complex and diverse ecosystem of the art culture.
ABOUT THE ART COMPASS: The Art Compass is based on the well know political compass, as it provides four extreme artistic positions as the boarders of the fluid space in between. On the horizontal axis the attitude of the artist toward their practice is defined as between craft and concept. These two well known and often scrutinised labels have in this case a more suggestive nature, indicating whether the concept, idea, message is prioritised over the technique, medium, skill or vice versa. The vertical axis defines the position of the artist towards the art world. From the white cube, gallery culture and the art market making up the inside, to alternative non-art spaces and practices challenging the boarders of art from the outside, the artists occupy positions based on how much they conform to or rebel towards the established art institution.
The interaction of the axis creates four areas - inside concept, outside concept, outside craft and inside craft - each representing an artistic subculture in which specific values, opinions, movements and artworks exist.
Although seemingly opposite, the two directions of each axis are more often than not intertwined, and so the artist might assume different positions along the axis at different times, in relation to different works, or they might assume a wide area of the spectrum within which their practice exists.
In the first weeks of 2021, I was in a small village located at the southwest of Turkey. I had this journey to see my family but my real intention was to run away from Netherlands and clear my mind. The village is surrounded by a forest. One day, I decided to take a walk deep into that jungle. After half an hour, I arrived to a large, flat area full of white cubic boxes placed on wooden pallets. They were beehives. Interestingly, they reminded me of Netherlands. Their prefabricated, visually proper, functional and systematic presence was the only unnatural thing in that habitat. At the middle of woods, I remembered a place where physicality and sensuality is lost and replaced by factory-like logic.
We produce and reproduce in tombstone-like cubic and designated structures. We live to function, we live as a gear of a wheel. Our hardened skin no longer feels the bites of sharp edged white walls. We are here to produce without any bodily relation with the space that surrounds us. Apparently, our relation with the built environment is not very different than the relation between bees and hives.
“You can learn by looking at things but you can only understand by feeling.”