Bülent Erkmen remixes his designs produced over a span of 40 years!
First and foremost, design is the art of composing a structure. Regardless of its material, location, or function, the structure conceived through design must always maintain a level of functionality between an expected requirement (the commission) and its intended outlet (a person, a number of people, the public). Whether it is the conveyance of concrete signs through a language construct and their introduction into circulation, or allowing the sharing of abstract connotations, design is essentially a practice of constant translation.
One of the leading designers of Turkey, Bülent Erkmen amasses the exhibition Remix at Akbank Sanat, with works dating as far back as the late 1970s. We are confronted with a factory of production who has a vast array of works; alongside the works produced in all areas of graphic design (books, magazines, posters, logos...), there are exhibition spaces, exhibition designs and works in the field of theatre, as well as three-dimensional object designs such as scarves, shirts, jewellery, tiles, and carpets, and on top of all that, special projects. Considering the works in excess of 350 pieces included in the exhibition, rather than defining Erkmen as a designer, he should be regarded as a regisseur who puts the social and cultural production of Turkey on stage through the language of design.
Erkmen shuffles the deck of cards in his hand and deals them again in this exhibition. He “remixes” a process of creation and production that spans 40 years. The labyrinthine layout of the exhibition, its introverted set-up, is there to let the viewers get lost among the works in the exhibition, to disorient them, so that they can determine their own routes through the works. Getting lost among Erkmen’s works entails being on the threshold of an unexpected discovery, or an invention.
Following a series of five solo “exhibition/book” projects, each covering works from a period of two years between 1990 and 2000, Erkmen put together an exhibition and published a book on his works from 2000-2004 under the title of Recent Works in 2004, and on his works from 2004-2011 under the title of Recent Works 2 in 2011.
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