Özlem Altin’s photographs, collages, paintings, and installations consider the ways abstract ideas can be communicated through the body, touch, and memory. She often begins with found images: taken from books, magazines, or the internet, the pictures feature the human body in states of exhaustion, passivity and dissolving subjectivity. The artist juxtaposes and combines the images with her own paintings, along with other objects, and creates spatial installations that confront the bodies of her viewers.
At Kiria Koula, Altin presents three new bodies of work based on her observations of bodies and gestures.
The images of the prints originate in different source materials, like books on child’s development or animals, next to photos the artist took herself: some are staged while others are taken more casually with a portable telephone. Tying all fragments together is the reoccurring motif of detached and isolated body parts: the amputated arm and separated hands—Altin has isolated the body into a series of fractured gestures that communicate on their own terms. For the painted photographs, the artist once again begins with an image that depicts a body with hands, holding a certain gesture, and then works on it with paint, blurring many of the details so all that is left is gesture, and so that the original image slowly becomes an abstraction. Finally, the paintings are the result of intense layering of diverse materials thoughout many years. Working slowly, the artist relies on the passage of time to gradually insert its own variations into the logic of the paintings. While they are abstract, they sometimes contain the echo of a face or a head, although it remains out of reach.
At the center of Altin’s work is a meditation on the way memory works: images and objects that once existed autonomously are brought together and asked to co-exist. They merge into each other in the same way the crisp specificity of experience slowly becomes the blurrier space of remembrance.
Özlem Altin (b. 1977 in Goch, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include No Story, no, In Light of 25 Years at Witte de With in Rotterdam (2015), Rhythm of Resemblance at the Leopold–Hoesch–Museum in Düren (2012), and Ianus (My memory of what happened is not what happened) at the Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples (2010), among others, as well as solo gallery shows at Circus in Berlin (2013, 2011, and 2009). Group exhibitions include Regarding Spectatorship at Kunstraum Bethanien in Berlin (November, 2015), OAOA at de Vleeshal Kabinetten in Middelburg, the Netherlands (2015), Das Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2013), Salon der Angst at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2013), Based in Berlin at Atelierhaus Monbijoupark in Berlin (2011) and Spirits & Landscapes at Wiels in Brussels (2010), among others. Altin also founded Orient Press in Berlin.