Jasper de Beijer at The Empire Project

By Cornucopia | March 4, 2011

(#7 (detail), Le Sacre du Printemps series, 2007) The Empire Project is the newest additon to Istanbul's world-class roster of galleries and art spaces, and its opening show does nothing but impress. Dutch artist Jasper de Beijer presents the viewer with a sinister world of oppressive heat, menacing figures and buildings rotting into jungle. In some ways, what we see is familiar - the First World War, colonial adventurers, and stern-faced Victorians - but here it has been reconfigured into something disorienting and troubling. Other than his series 'The Recollector', which is formed of computer-generated 3D collages, his prints are created by the unusual method of creating large-scale models which are then photographed and digitally manipulated. The end result is something between photography, collage and sculpture, with the bright colours and slightly nauseous feel of a fever dream. De Beijer's work is an unusual take on some of the most strongly imagined events and ideas of the modern era, in which he attempts to reimagine nineteenth and twentieth century violence in Europe and abroad. Rather than actually trying to recreate images of the trenches or contemporary West Africa, he creates dioramas based on popular images of them derived from travel notes, TV reports or anthropological surveys. Works from the 'Sacre du Printemps' series consider the aesthetics of war via stylised, abstracted images of wounded soldiers and ravaged landscapes, while 'Udongo' observes the perceived misery and exoticism of Africa as seen by the outside world. This is an exhibition which combines wit, verve and truly stunning images to look at the dark side of today's world; this is art which forces visitors to look and think at the same time. The Empire has come, and it has conquered. Sıraselviler #10, İstanbul. Tel: 0212 292 5968. Entrance free. The show will run for around two more months.

Posted in Contemporary Art Tagged jasper de beijer, kerimcan güleryüz, the empire project
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