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Melancholy Of Compassion


With the advent of modernism, individualism has undergone a major social change. Modern individual is a dynamic organism above all. This dynamic typology, which has the characteristics of unleashed professionalism and individualism, could easily find a place in society simply by releasing itself from its old ties, but all this comes with a cost that has to be paid. Richard Sennett looks into the socio-biological aspect of the parallelism between society and the human body in his book "Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization": a strong and sincere attachment poses a risk of engagement for the individual. Modern man should not have strong feelings about the environment he/she is in, so that others comments do not threaten his/her independence.

The modern, dynamic individual is facing a kind of touching crisis, because the will to exist freely has put a distance between him/her and the sensuous demands of the society he/she lives in. Dynamism helps the body to desensitize. This desensitization surrenders the human to the fast dynamism of today's lustful sociality and to neutral venues of the sociality. The earthly body, which is always in dynamic change, has to make a choice between taking the risk to lose its ties with the society-venue it acts in, and developing a kind of sociality created by the ethics of indifference towards others, which stimulates the senses of the subject. Dr. De Mondeville suggested against this ethics of indifference that, just as the organs of the body that tend to give a compassion reaction and appear to rally to support each other under trauma, sending heat and blood (syncope), the same reaction may be developed between bodies. Developing this compassion mechanism, which occurs within a suffering body, also between bodies assigns us the responsibility of creating socio-biological, ethical norms which will lead the distant bodies, left by the spirits, to peace. The fear of the pain witnessed in other bodies lends a sense of compassion to the heart: worrying about others is a melancholic act, whereas the experience of loving others is about feeling the pain of others as your own. Such pain represents a kind of introverted, reflection-based and dignified melancholy.

Besides the thematic insight explained above, what the artists who participate in the exhibition have in common is that they are marking the distance to the charm of the image through the expressivity of the drawing (pattern).

The theme of the works of Muge Akcakoca, one of the artists who participate in the exhibition, tries to explain that the way others see our pain is the way they have the pain for themselves, the pain that has grown different and has become distant. Audrey Bakx, with all the sensitive nature she has, underlines that vulnerability, compassion and the subtle feelings require protection in this violent world. The works of Burak Bedenlier evolve within a practice based on conceptuality such as bearing the responsibility established by the gift rituals which were recurring in old civilizations, giving more than what you take, and wealth diminishing toward poverty. Petrit Halilaj grew up in Kosovo where he witnessed the whole war period during his early years. This reflection, which has brought him to focus on the most obscure psychological layers of the human soul and his own era, constitutes the starting point of his works. The concept of the works of Sukran Mertcan comes from the principle of non-reflection of the pain absorbed by her body.

The artists who all came from such widely different backgrounds bring together their works in a qualitative consistency, and therefore make the context of their art legible without causing even a slight deviation from their true message.

Murteza FIDAN, 2009