Phantom Work
Oscillating Elevations
Erupting Depths

Diamond Head Diving Man
Aeolian Processes #1 , #2
The Shrine of the

A Little Larger Than
The Entire Universe


Airliner 4
A Strange Weather
The New Horizon
Black Ships Ate The Sky
Total Realm
Bent 003
Wake X!
Terra Incognita






Pelin Tan
published on , 22-08-2013

In the eyes of many human beings, life appears to be a unique and special phenomenon. There is, of course, some truth to this belief, since no other planet is known to bear a rich and complex biosphere. However, this view betrays an “organic chauvinism” that leads us to underestimate the vitality of the processes of self-organization in other spheres of reality”. S.103 (Manuel De Landa, 2005)

How to approach the architectural landscape with subjective geological metaphors? How can we experience the meshwork or arrangement of the layers of earth with dynamics analysis of social/geological strata? Sure, these questions will lead us to spatial imaginations and experiences that would redefine our relation to “form”.

Istanbul based artist Emre Hüner focuses always in his practices about the other imagination of spatial, architectural entities, possible settlements, uncommon arrangements between subjectivities and objects. Hüner’s recent exhibition titled “Aeolian” in two parallel galleries Rodeo and Nesrin Esirtgen Collection offers a continuation of exhibiting structures in which the audience could follow Hüner’s arrangements of forms of ceramic sculptures, images, drawings and video works that are based on his two spatial and architectural experiences: A visit to “Fordlandia”, an industrial ruins, a settlement that was built by Henry Ford in 1928 in order to produce rubber for Ford company in the Amazon rainforest; and another stay at Hawai, in Doris Duke villas “Shangri-La”.

These spatial experiences lead Hüner’s works questioning the two landscapes between the capitalist modernity in exotic physical environments and reminiscent of the evolution of artifacts. I can decipher through the ceramic forms and drawings of the layers of sedimentary of “form”; and a question appears in my mind; how can I experience other possible, lived or not lived “time” and “spaces” and what could be the representation of their form … artifacts.

Is it possible to imagine and read the metaphors of spatial landscape within the self-organization of human life. The “geological approach” to human history of Manuel De Landa, offers us a (maybe known but not common) argument in order to understand the material culture; “…human culture and society are not different from the self-organized processes that inhabit the atmosphere and hydrosphere (win, circuits, hurricanes), or, for that matter, no different from lavas and magmas, which as self-assembled conveyor belts drive plate tectonics and over millennia have created all the geological features that have influenced human history”.

The exhibition title “Aeolian” means the wind’s ability to shape the surface of the earth or planets. Taking this metaphor Hüner acknowledges his aim: “… to create an abstraction of the utopian or imaginary architecture, planetary landscapes and possible settlements on planets, idea of flight and remains of civilizations, while keeping my focus on materiality and texture of ceramic and the other materials”. Hüner’s sensitivity on the surface of the materials and their transforming forms can be seen in two 16mm video film (Aeolian Processes 1, 2). The process and the details of the materials as an expanding “still life” that he observed in his studio, convey a relation to the history of the formation of artifacts that often found in earth.

Does architectural models can be understood as the “artifact of the artifact”? Both realized or unrealized projects of models and its building/project often detach from each other. The model, the prototype remains as either useless or a representation. Hüner goes to display non of these meanings of an architectural model but traces of an realized material which could have been realized in another possibilities in real life in his 16 mm third film where we can see the 1920s first proposed model of “Shangri-La” house. The artist found the model of this house, which contains perfectly well-worked details. But the model has already its own time and space that puts it totally into another embodiment of an artifact which separate itself from the meaning of the realized modern villa. The model represents “Ruins” with his own labyrinthine time likewise Fordlandia.

Experiencing Hüner’s forms could be discussed in context of “new materialism”, an affirmative philosophical approach of materialization that thinkers such as Manuel De Landa or Quention Meillassoux introduced with their writings. Maybe we can approach Hüner’s metaphorical spatial forms as “arche – fossil” that Meillassoux will describe as: “ …not just materials indicating the traces of past life….but materials indicating the existence of an ancestral reality or event…” (p.22). Thus, I would be interested with a further question; how such a contextualized “artform” could switch from metaphorical affirmative experience further to a discursive realm?

Pelin Tan, Istanbul


Manuel De Landa, A Thousand Year of Material History, The MIT Press, 2005.
Quention Meillassoux, After Finitude – An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, Bloomsbury Academic, 2008.

published on 22/08/2013