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Off the Record




Pilot Gallery hosts Tufan Baltalar’s solo exhibition, Off the Record, between November 11th and January 1st that will showcase a body of the work that the artist produced during the past three years consisting of paintings, sculptures and installations. 


Tufan Baltalar’s work involves the depictions of nature/our nature that we feel close to, of the nature that we feel we are a part of. But his work cannot simply be explained with this human connection to nature. Baltalar creates paintings of resistance. These paintings depict our holding onto hope both while looking at the past and the present. They are the paintings of hope always overcoming, hardships, failures and the will to live always leading to hope. These paintings entail an exploration of social mechanics and of social dynamics. Therefore, this focus on hope and connection is beyond an escape to nature. On the contrary it’s a will to be present as a part of nature and an interpretation of experiencing life with all of its chaos and complexity. And beyond these, it’s a focus on resistance.


Baltalar, converses with us through a grammar he has built using pieces of nature. This language is Baltalar’s home and it feels both familiar and personal to him.  This kind of individuality is also what gives the exhibition its name; “Off the Record” is an emphasis on our individuality, on “us”. “Off the Record” strives to record that which escapes the radar of records and registers, the things that were left out of recorded history, out of the History with a capital “H”.   The kind of recording Baltalar strives for, involves reminding, recollection and meandering around an emotion rather than an occurrence. In this sense, his series of work can be read as a proposal of an alternative way of recording history. Baltalar is interested in in individuality, in emotions that can’t be confined to theories, in the history of delicate nuances. About the exhibition “Still standing despite being forced into unnatural shapes by circumstances, despite being wrapped up in institutions and still standing despite of our general longing to belong…I want to make the personal announcement of this stance.” says the artist.                                               


Baltalar’s later body of work has at its focus “the wind”. The wind blows hard at times and at others it is reminiscent of a summer evening. But each time it changes us or forces us to change. Faced with this omen of change, we sometimes feel a sense of bitter longing or we might feel pleasure. It’s far from coincidence for these works by Baltalar to remind us of the feelings we used to get from fairy tales of our childhoods; the trees take on human qualities, the clouds are called on to reflect a certain emotional state. A plant that’s been subjected to harsh conditions undoubtedly contacts our life experience. In the same way, an image that evokes a zest for life can also pop out at us.


Baltalar, feels at home in nature saying, nature is our home in life and home is our nature in society. This way he establishes a connection between home and nature. The paintings in the exhibition use pieces of nature as narrative elements but at the same time they try to replace the traditionally beautiful landscape paintings in our homes. Wooden shelves and figurine-like sculptures seem to come together in a home environment. Thinking about the home together with its place in our lives while putting together arrangements reminiscent of home, provides the artist with the space to build a narrative. He focuses on the shelter and protection aspects of home. 


Baltalar, using his personal language which is the product of his creative process spanning years, keeps the record of our collective unconscious as well as his own inner world. He examines the ways in which we can “stand tall” against and “resist” the turmoil that wraps up the individual and that makes it hard to breathe. He even makes us believe and gives us hope that this resistance can change the course of events. In this way he re-imagines again and again our social landscape.  


You can visit Tufan Baltalar’s exhibition at Pilot Galeri until the 1st of January. 


Tufan Baltalar