Spectacle, 2015, 87x105x12

Spectacle, 2015, 87x105x12

We can assume that some things might have changed based on the fact that paintings have been made since the last 150 years in a society which was led to believe that painting is “to attribute an alternative to Allah”.  Even though it seems as if there is nothing wrong with painting, problems with exhibitions are far from solved yet.  Aside from having no idea of what happened to the painting of Osman Hamdi Bey made in 1901 titled “Creation” after 2001, the fact that it has never been exhibited in the country where it is painted, did not bother many people in the years when its whereabouts were known.  


The effect of art on the people’s system of thought has not been a subject of discussion anymore, but it has been one of the main components of the discourse and narratives of official ideology since its beginning.  It was known that way to prevalence passes from having the ability to use the influential power of art in line with supervision and interests.  Influential power of any work of art can be measured not by its being produced by the quality and size of the masses it reached upon being in circulation.  And also, by its potential to spark a debate.  The shortest way of destroying the influential power of any work of art which is contradicting with the official ideology is to attack its “visibility”. Undesirable works of art are caught in the filters of superior minds who think they have authority to decide, on behalf of us, on what can be seen.


“Signified” is one of the main concepts for those who write about semiotics.  The meaning makes itself obvious in there. Paintings from past to present offers an area of research with endless width for the semioticians in analyzing socio-political structures and system of thoughts of that period.  The sum of all those paintings which we are allowed to see represents the current status of the government.   However, researching the paintings which are “not exhibited” might prove to be helpful in analyzing the ideological characteristics of the governments.  Burhan Kum reveals, in his exhibition with the title “Unauthorized”, the “other painting” of the system of thought which he intends to build over the images which governments want them to be seen or do not want them to be seen.


“If the only naked person was the king, we could have acted as if we see his clothes. However, when the whole country turs into a nudist camp it means that there is nothing more to see in it.” 

Burhan Kum


11 Mar - 23 Apr 2016