Whitish brings together the creative output of Ayşe Erkmen since the 1970s, chosen with a retrospective approach, with new works conceived and produced especially for this exhibition. The exhibition traces the basic qualities of Erkmen’s work, the physical and intellectual gestures she maintains in her working process, the diversity of materials and media she employs, and especially the ways in which she incorporates the concepts of space and time into her work. The exhibition adapts her works, which are closely tied to the places where they are shown and as a consequence cannot be identically repeated anywhere else, to Arter’s new building, presenting them in a new network of relations.
In the projects she has developed for institutional sites and public spaces, Ayşe Erkmen adds unexpected directions and intervals, architectural and environmental dimensions, distances and proximities, the visible and the invisible, to the experience of the artwork, and in so doing, she always establishes an incredibly powerful and mutual sense of attachment between the work and the space, circumstances, and time that the work occupies.
Borrowing its title from one of the artist’s works of the same name and featured in this exhibition, Whitish is Ayşe Erkmen’s first institutional solo exhibition in Turkey encompassing the artist’s ceaseless and ongoing practice spanning more than fifty years. The exhibition re-activates Erkmen’s sixteen works, two of which are part of the Arter Collection, and sets them in conversation amongst themselves and with Arter’s new space. Whitish adopts white not as a colour, but as a feeling or an impression, offering a site-specific experience that oscillates between present and absent, reality and dream, now and past, here and there.