2014 ZELİHA BURTEK / Do Not Underrate Bricks
Yapı Magazine, April 2014
Seçil Erel's exhibition "Area" turns canvas surfaces into a house, room or street plan, where the mute and hidden experiences of past times take on significant stances within daily repetition amidst the texture of colours, bricks, paving stones and parquet flooring. Erel illustrates the "areas" of the street and flat where she lives from within her own perception, as if saying that these living areas which appear on the city plan will continue to exist without her, and what matters is to present each of these "areas" with opportunity for existence beyond our perception of them. At this point melancholic approaches to space within the relationship between space, perception and memory disappear, leaving space as a pure entity. Space raises its voice to declare, anı the condition of time and existence." Small canvases in the exhibition area hang next to a large canvas showing a sketch plan of a house. A bird's eye view of the plan is multiplied on the exhibition walls by opposite, sideways and diagonal views, as you wish; stressing the idea that the viewer is an "area" and is there in every view. Here we might remember the way the concept of the plan in the understanding within its use by entities/human beings and viewed from above is shaped in'the hands. The secondary status accorded to the "area"; the idea that entities were there first is alienated by the artist, so that indirectly it is declared that through what we produce these two things advance side by side.
Erel's sensitive approach to the pictorial idiom of the "area", which keeps its filled and polluted sections at a distance, and her expression that the "area" could remind us of the void of the universe, may take precedence over drawing in her pictorial technique. In her paintings the arrangement of colour gives them independent existence without thought for the brushwork, and their abstract idiom distances them from the canvases. The partnership between abstraction and colour is overcom e on the canvases by means of crumbs of familiar materials, so that functional "areas" on the surfaces are transforrned in the blink of an eye into a woven carpet, textured fabric, flooring material, or a curtain that quivers as light filters through. This exhibition reminds us that here the concept of space is abstract and that abstraction lives through the familiar. While abstraction calls distant places to rnind, the exhibition places the abstract within objective language through proximities and partnerships. It is not an adverse quality but the expression of those who find themselves in the interstices finding a home; an underscoring of the fact that a place can belong to no one and cannot be kept under control. The "area" belongs to everyone.