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Gelene-ek 11


Mixed Media

70x122x35 cm

In his text The Light of Myths*, Hans Irrek says “Immersing oneself extensively in Güneştekin's work, we realize that everything is just a beginning, and all stories have to be retold in new and different ways.” This start-all-over construction and expression also presents itself in the works that the artist calls the Gelene-ek (‘addition to that which has come’) Series. The artist plays with the word gelenek (‘tradition’) and makes ‘additions’ to ‘that which comes’, moving his pictorial tradition to another –richer- medium. When his familiar colourful patterns in his painting are now presenting themselves over metamorphosed animals (in this exhibition, on a bull and a fish), Irrek’s reading ceases to be an over-interpretation and becomes one with reality. These metaphoric sculptures of animals are parted with a thick and transparent, double-layered material, which should be explained as partings of the tradition the artist has taken over. These artistic constructions, of which we can find the traces in the mythical cosmos, enchant the spectator. The bull, which is the symbol of power and fruitfulness for Sumerians and Semites, emerges as bull figures over lyres found among the personal belongings of kings in their tombs in Ur. The bull’s horns are also symbols of gods, such as the Semite Sun God El. The bull is an equivalent of gods and heroes in many cultures and is used in a ritual of sacrifice called ‘taurobole’, as in the cult of the Sun God Mithra and that of Kybele, worshipped in Ancient Rome for the promise of personal peace. It is also well-known that the bulls is used as a central figure in Picasso’s paintings. And when it comes to the fish, Güneştekin approaches it in an analogy of memory, adorning its scaled skin and decorating his own motifs over its tail, head, and soft dorsal fin. In its mouth we see a skull (as if the fish had swallowed a human and couldn’t digest him/her, and thus wanted to throw it out), and over it we see a smaller fish. But what about the eyes? Having a woman’s eyes, we should add that the fish has also become a part of the narration through sexuality (for the fish has a wet habitat) and fruitfulness (for it lays eggs).