The Phantasmagoria of Omer ULUC

Robert C. MORGAN

Turkish artist Omer Uluc had shown his art titled; "A, B, Sea Devils" at the Trans Hudson Gallery from May 15 to June 16, 2001 in New York.

Uluc has lived in Paris since 1984. He has had one person shows in Istanbul, Paris, the Haag, and in Berlin. In Paris he has been represented by Gallery Montenay Giroux for the past ten years, and with them has been in many international contemporary art fairs.

Omer Uluc has a quality of fantasy in his work that is inexorable, even defiant. He knows the secrets of Pandora's Box-- the fantastic creatures of the deep. When we speak of the deep we may refer to the sea-- as in sea creatures, or we may refer to the unconscious lurking behind our motives and actions. Like all visual alchemists who function in the realm of imagistic transfiguration, Uluc ponders the excesses of our time. He ruminates over what is and what is not.

My sense about Uluc is that he knows the present through his unconscious.

His art is a kind of phantasmagoria.

Red Boy (2001), Young Man & Blue Dog (1999), mixed media.

Excess in age brings lethargy; and in a higly abstract, material world where there is an abundance of conflicting elements, the actuality of the situation becomes all the more diffucult to see. By confronting this presumed reality through science, we beckon a rational response to answer the problem and to instill a sense of justification with regard to where we are in our material reality. the other approach is, of course, through art and this is where Omer Uluc finds himself. He struggles to find the necessary precision that will give reality another turn of events, another insight, previously unseen, historically unrealized.

With the lethargy of the material world -- the excess and abstract abundance -- comes the exhaustion of ideas, loss of a spiritualized imagination. I see Uluc as pondering the cause of effect of this situation. He is looking for a problematic withing the concept of art, while understanding that art is never a single concept, but plurality, often in conflict with itself. Art is elusive at its best, yet precise in iths projections of ambiguity. I understand Uluc as a kind of romantic conceptualist, a distilled fountain of new ideas, offering new sources by which to map into the imagination.

When I think of his new hybrid between painting and sculpture -- with plastic hosses and air ducts --with strange physiognomies -- I can not help but thin of Max WErnst. It was in 1921 that Ernest created his beatiful Elephant Celebes -- one of the hallmarks of Surrealism. Where did he obtain concept? It is said that he found an old photograph of an African corn silo that gave his imagination the necessary spur, the calculated abundance to let loose, to dismantle all exceptions and contrivances and to move fully into the realm of the imaged, the spirutal, and delicacies of a subtle intellectual passage through time and space. Essentially, Ernst was asking these questions: What is human nowadays? What is sane? Where do we go from here in the mids of this chaotic industrial world-view?

Uluc's sea creatures ask much the same. But Uluc takes these questions to another level, gives them a prognosis, a hypertropic content. They spill forth with agonized glory of simulation and conjecture. They open the threshold to the unconscious, showing all the light within themselves. Uluc is a glorious artist in this respect. He shows his creatures as silly, absurd, conflicted, horrific, and mad. Yet at the same moment, he places them very much within the presence of an imagination for others to capture. He desires the imagination as a spur, as a challenge, to open up and let go with something new, something vital and intrepid. These thoughtful machination of material are vestiges of a romantic presence. Past and present merge as does the Surreal and the Conceptual traces of recent art history. Uluc brings us into the presence by geting below the level of the obvious, and astonishing us with something courageously new and paradoxical profound.

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Robert C. Morgan is a critic, artist, writer, lecturer, and poet. He is the author Art into Idals: Essays on conceptual Art (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and The End of The Art World (Allworth Press, 1988). His book on Bruce Nauman is being published by John Hopkins Unversity Fress, furtcoming in 2001.

BAHAR sayisi web'dedir.



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by Bircan ÜNVER. 6th issue. Summer 2001, New York.
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