MILAN.- Öğüt works with a broad range of media including video, photography, installation, drawing and printed media. His work often borrows from the experience of everyday life, which he observes and then amplifies and alters to expose its many contradictions.
Mind the Gap, which is also Öğüts first solo presentation in Italy, is developed by the artist using the entire exhibition space to create three different zones. While using different approaches and scales, the three zones deal with the representation of power, authority and control through a reflection on function and the effects of its changing.
The first room is dedicated to a video projection titled Things we Count (2008). A right-left tracking shot slowly pans across retired fighter planes at an airplane graveyard in Arizonas Sonoran desert, while a voice counts them in ascending order one by one in Kurdish, Turkish and English. This slow and continuous counting beats out the time of the entire show and accompanies viewers path through the space Swinging Doors (2009), a swinging door made of two original Carabinieris shields, opens and closes the passage between the front and rear space. The shields, typically used by police to block protesters during demonstrations, here become doors that physically join two rooms. Öğüts intervention subverts the original function of the object and thus activates direct relation between the viewer and the work: the viewers force this device into a method of passage rather than inhibition and in doing so compute an action of resistance.
Installed in the next room is Mission Calls (2008-2009), a work composed by three large drawings that appear as a short storyboard of a performative act that anyone could do. The sequence shows a common street dog transforming into a rescue-dog and it is the artist, with a seemingly absurd and surreal gesture, that grants the unsuspecting dog this role of power.
The show ends in the balcony where visitors may view the video, this time from am entirely different perspective. Also installed here is An ordinary day of a bomb disposal robot (2009): two stereo-viewers are placed on pedestals for visitors to use and reveal a sequence of seven images of a bomb-disposal robot. As with the airplanes, shields and the street dog, the original function of both the stereo-viewers and the robots is subverted and transformed into something completely different and surprising.
Using the works as tools for punctuating the physical space, Öğüt builds the exhibition as a path, which doesn't proceed linearly but by alternating concepts of fullness and emptiness. The narration is made of small anecdotes in between which some gaps are generated. These gaps, alluded to in the exhibitions title, are both physical and psychological and function as the playground for the artist and the public.