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PNEUMA

ALİ MİHARBİ

26 APRİL - 3 JUNE

Pilot is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of Ali Miharbi from April 26 to June 3. The artist continues and expands on his search for rhythm and his work on probability; this time he focuses on air, breath and wind. Pneuma, the title of the exhibition, corresponds to these elements in ancient Greek.

In this exhibition Ali Miharbi gives form, color and voice to air. Air circulates, it travels, it spreads, it blocks, it communicates, it whispers. It transmits and guides. Air is not there only as the mass of gases that surrounds the Earth and allows life to exist but beyond this, it is there as a tool of communication or a converter.

Pneuma, in ancient Greek medicine stands also for the air circulating through the body, that vital spirit believed to cause health or illness. The belief that faul scents –“bad air” according to the obsolete miasma theory- led to diseases has long been a subject of study, which urged
plague doctors to wear long beaked masks stuffed with herbs, straw, and spices. Miharbi places the colors red, blue, green and yellow paired with Breath sounds, each of them signaling a pathological condition at the entrance of his exhibition.

According to Greek mythology, the gods of the four (relatively benign) winds who were each associated with a season and a direction were controlled by Aeolus on Zeus’ orders. Ancients used offerings –and spell in other cultures- in order to call on the help of these gods in time of trouble or placate the destructive storm winds, the offsprings of Typhon. After all precautions were taken, things were left to faith and fortune, namely Fortuna (2). The word that signified chance or fate in Latin took the meaning of a shipwreck, misfortune at sea in Greek. Ottomans borrowed the term from Greek (3) –leading to fırtına in modern Turkish-. Miharbi’s Wind evokes the hazard as well as the unpredictable –and unstoppable- energy of the gods of winds and air; he installs a wind direction sensor inside the gallery. The machine, without being exposed to natural wind and using the wind direction information received via the internet mimics the movements of  a sensor in open air.

Following the wind is Vowels, a continuation of  Whisper that was produced with the support of Bstart. The deep almost threathening sounds are created by the acustic cups that were shaped after the human throat take while making sounds. These noises resembling a, e, i, u, o draws a set to a part of the gallery to not be.

[1.] Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, Oxford University Press, 2005, p.20
[2.] Fortuna is the goddess of fortune in Roman mythology
[3.] Nişanyan Dictionary

Breath, 2017, video installation

EXHIBITION PHOTOS