I know Ece Clarke from her earlier paintings. Even then, she held the invisible reins of the coincidental tightly in her hands and lay astonishing compositions with her emphasis on colour and form, conveying a quirky sensation to the viewer.
Yet, now, she astonishes again — this time by delivering the painting with its amazing wealth of materials, from a two-dimensional platform to a three-dimensional spatial form, so that virtually, it almost is a painting no more.
It is as if she bids the viewer: “Do not just look at it, think a little while about it.”
Thinking is delving into the relation between things. This, at least, is the starting point of philosophy. Besides, there are no two things that are not somehow relatable. We live in the realm of “things” and this is an expanse where philosophy, just as ourselves, takes form, moves and breathes. Art is also an organic “thing” within this realm. Therefore, could we not, under the circumstances, compare art and philosophy to two lovers exchanging smiles from a distance?
Ece’s work involves so many “things”. Yet these are related in such a simple and noble way that we cannot help but observe the two lovers holding hands as well as smiling.
It makes no difference whether we approach our universal and common fear, the fast flow of time from a philosophical or an artistic point of view; one can easily be captivated by mystic inclinations.
However, through her cylinders she creates by folding the plane, Ece demonstrates instances where the start and the end, in other words, opposites can be mutually inclusive.
Is this not the essence of dialectical materialist philosophy? Just like life and death… Even the famous poet Yahya Kemal (Beyatli) whose mystic tendencies are well-known says:
“Even if it’s been dreamt to come to this world once more,
We would not care for the comfort in consolation as such”
Moreover, I cannot imagine an artist such as Ece who assumes art’s enthusiasm with utmost sincerity and is so intensely occupied with her materials to be involved in any mystic inclinations.
Neither can I tell what degree of mysticism is to be gotten from the kind of “materials” she employs such as tar, shellac, aluminium magnets etc. Anyhow, are we not, just like Ece’s magnets holding on to dear life in this world, where the sublime law of dialectics rules?
Artistic enthusiasm and creative drive spring from a desire to last, to leave a legacy to the future. Though in Ece’s works, it is evident that her main concern is attaining the kind perpetuity whereby she is conscious of many “things”. She captures the “thing” called smoke by the “thing” called paper in mid-air. Fatigued like a numerical labourer, she presents us with the aesthetics of physical and chemical relations between objects.
In Xenophon’s Symposium, Socrates boasts that he is matchmaking between information and the human mind. Likewise, Ece Clarke should be proud to be matchmaking between “information of things” and aesthetics since, after viewing her works, it becomes obvious that art is a kiss placed on the cheek of philosophy which I construe as the information of things.