How does reinterpreting the past through the lens of the present help us understand our own times? Faced with the postmodernist loss of reference points, we reconnect with our past to orientate ourselves, bridging our vision into a future that ushers everyday life into an increasingly pervasive technological dimension.
The Turkish duo ha:ar - sculptor Hande Sekerciler and media artist Arda Yalkın - explore the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods in relation to a physical and virtual environment wherein the artists create a number of compositions that reinterpret the past with a view on the future.
Suggesting a Mannerist influence, every element of ha:ar’s work is characterised by a dramatic bodily tension, portrayed in mystical poses and surrounded by clouds that are reminiscent of a celestial Baroque painting. The technology adopted by the artists does not intend to stand in the way of the viewer or to become the focus of the aesthetic experience; rather, it aids in the discovery of new meanings.
The exhibition explores the mirroring of digital and tangible realities by placing the duo's works in dialogue with Hande’s sculptures, whose genesis remains linked to the virtual world of 3D modelling. Starting from a human figure that appears immersed in a Renaissance echo, the artist subverts the identity of the subjects, freeing them from characterising elements such as hair and clothing. This allows the viewer to see the bodies beyond any social construction as they are anonymously, projected into our contemporary dimension.
The physical exhibition experience is then taken to another level through Augmented Reality.
Thanks to this technology and in partnership with Garage Atlas, the works and sculptures that could not be created in the real world will appear in the space virtually, in dialogue with the audience and the environment.
Working between Istanbul, New York and LA, sculptor Hande Sekerciler and new media artist Arda Yalkın established ha:ar with the desire to combine a classical approach to art with new technologies.
Their passion for mastering production and exploring new possibilities of expression has led the duo to work in a wide range of fields including video, animation, music, generative art, and even artificial intelligence, as well as conventional methods such as painting and sculpture. Seeking new and original forms of expression by blending their individual practices, the main subject of ha:ar’s works can be summarised as “conflict with the civilisation created by humanity, the technology it produces and the way of existence.”
ha:ar has completed programmes at Residency Unlimited (NYC), Artist Alliance International (NYC) and 18th Street Art Center (LA). They opened their first exhibition in New York in 2018, and have
gone on to participate in CADAF 2019 as part of Art Miami and Contemporary Istanbul in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The duo’s works have been exhibited in museums, art fairs and galleries in Turkey, USA, Spain, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Hungary, Greece and Russia.
ha:ar is also the co-founder of the Piksel New Media Residency Program, a non-governmental organisation that seeks to teach young artists about new media art and Augmented Reality.