(translation; Harika Esra Oskay)
Fragments remind me Farrachi’s book on Bach for a long time (1). I guess Bach differs from other music genius with his preludes and fugues (2) most obviously. My take of Ercan Sağlam’s fragments is that they are an interpretation, another articulation of a Bach flavor, that is short but fully finished and that hasn’t been worn out. This relation has been established at the moment of encounter , in the manner the musical notes travelling in our minds in the speed of light. Though the repetition of form in sculpture, rhythm, unit form, repetition seems to differ from other art disciplines, however different it might seem, deep inside there are interlayers, connections, links that connects all works of art. Therefore each art discipline produce a space- an interim- of readability that will allow them to be understood through other forms of art. Ercan, also, has a similar meaning sequence. Prelude is known as the preceding performance inviting the fugue. Rather than following his colleagues and friends who composes tremendous works leading to symphonic compositions, Bach takes the risk of writing unattempted, small and profound compositions. As far as I am concerned, he is into the act of writing, composing that corresponds to fragments, frequently articulated by Adorno and Benjamin. Or Benjamin and Adorno are after Bach’s reasoning, his preference for minor but dense form and for resonance, inner voice and haphazard advancement that replaces reasoning and grand forms; they are for the fragmented breathe rather than developmental and eclectic construction (3). A well known fact is that since Plato and Aristo all the written texts are paragraphs and fragments. The relation with the idea of grand narratives and completed story-work with the 19th century’s novel and philosophical idea aside, fragments are particles of reflection that belongs to a more radical and ancient past. It’s power lies in its shortness, density and comprehensity of its accuracy. The fragment is against the danger of disagreement, since long and layered cannot assure the one and the same, it is being understood differently by each. The fragment implies the whole, with its shortness and accessibility, in response to possible deficiency in expressing the whole… Though fugue is related to resonance in terms of mold, material, content it can be related genealogically to plastic, thus making it a relative of sculpture.
In response to the early modernism’s works that are products of long and lasting narratives, realized after long and infinite nights, its sudden effect should be taken into consideration. Why has Bach did not reasoned like the others? His adventure beginning in 17th century before Kant, Hegel, Beethoven and Mozart, exclusive of the Enlightenment thought, and an agency in itself resulted in over 1000 opus and countless fugue… It evokes “less is more” or “fragment is sufficient reflexion” in me. Its allegory and metaphor functions within this moral secretly. While consciously aiming, inclining toward fragments and constructing his forms through repetition of the same/ similar units. Ercan Sağlam also draws attention to the act of doing- making that shouldn’t be forgotten in art. Within the fabric of artistic formation, interior- exterior, forward- backward, warm- cold (perception of color), simple- complex pairs, he produces connotations, through fusing the mediation of concepts to the artistic story. Forms trying to raise, climb to walls, convoluted braids, wood and bronze brimming over the pedestals, like the sea shells convoluting inwards, collecting voice and appearance within one another in separate meaning layers.
Meanwhile, cumulating within the shell, attempting to become, turning back to the essence, the ritual of construction of body brings to mind those (bronze) works, it can be suggested that it is the phase of collecting the things to be said for this works. Ercan mentions about “body”, body reading as a context, signification while building, introverted reading- learning. Bronze works carries all the characteristics of open forms against porous forms, closed walls and surfaces. This forms are depotentiated and introverted forms of sculpture, defined as the art of mass and surface, they are against the classical formalist construction. Auger, spiral, helicoid, added and subtracted, these forms that seems to have been decontextualized, have such a distinctive fluidity, an articulated fragmentative narrative. Therefore, rather than directly heading towards a piece of story (in Ercan’s work) as I mentioned before, following Bachelard, who argues that “The objectivity confirmed properly by the object belies the first contact. First everything should be criticized; sense, common sense and even the most abiding tradition and lastly the root of the world..” (4) we need to walk around in different path ways. As fragments might not connect to main roads.
As far as I understand, in Ercan the act of reasoning takes place between the lines, within the framework of mediation and pathways. As in the pathways of Heidegger’s challenging walks( like the Greece- Athens journey for the roots of work of art etc.). Nowadays those path ways are not preferable. The ones who know it do not mention about it to others. Thus the artist has created transmissive inner journey routes for the ones who wants to relate. As if not saying anything the artist creates corridors, labyrinths, curves, that we can enter and walk around through the works that bring reflexion formulations like color, paint, eversion and articulation formulations coming side by side.
When talking to Ercan, I had the impression that dealing enough with introverted forms has brought him to a point of self discovery, as if he has opened himself to everyone after seeing everything. How hard is simplicity; because simplicity is something achieved through rumbling around, through a journey. It requires one to face complex roads, labyrinths, introversions, seclusion and take distances. On the other hand, the artist has a inclination towards identity, personality, body that he associates with “cultural” codes and extroversions, he has a tendency towards that line. The centrality of form highlights extroverted, identity that tempts to hybridize within cultural codes, leads to the new subtitles rather than the evolutionary context; that is basic forms like female- male form, construction of indents and dentations.
Ercan refers to the concept of “break”, “breakage” frequently. He says that forms break from actual space and he desires them to be so. The traces of finishing processes like gratings, fillings are replaced by his late wood works’ paint layers together with naked forms that has achieved a symbolic content. Extroverted forms has a propensity for symbolic articulations rather than metaphoric ones. And those, for the artist are associated with secret codes of the repertoire of memory and place. Concerned with a kind of recording, inner journey, the possibilities of this repertoires’ direct and indirect transference should be searched within the internalization of culture and at the margins of its balance.
These structures are like the constructions of world, universe, cosmic forms. Fragments of the whole world which it is a draft of. All and part of what is principle. The forms hung in bronze, connected to the earth continue to realize themselves in void. The forms fashioned within the cocoon are being contextualized as long as they are kept on being thought on, thus it is never completed, it is a form on the way to become. Its reality impoverishes when it is completed. The artist has a reasoning like recording, note taking, and thinking- writing, almost thinking, though his words and his choices are not exactly those I uttered, it is quite like this. Leaving record of/on the world.
(1) Farrachi, Armand: Bach Son Füg, ( Bach; Last Fugue), (Translated by Heval Bucak), Istanbul: Can Yayınları, 2008.
(2) Fugue is a polyphonic opus. First strain is the beginning of the theme, the second one is different, following the repeated first strain the third strain completes the melody.
(3) Minima Moralia of Adorno, all the texts of Benjamin or the idea of constructing text through collecting quotations can be related to Frankfurt School’s inner warmth; Unity, part and depth surfaces etc.
(4) Bachelard, Gaston, Ateşin Psikanalizi ( The Psychoanalysis of Fire), ( Translated Aytaç Yiğit), İstanbul; Bağlam Yayınları, 1995, pg 7