Niyazi Toptoprak Article

Niyazi Toptoprak

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.

Niyazi Toptoprak Article