Ramazan Can
I am Neither on the Earth Nor in the Sky

Anna Laudel Istanbul, Istanbul / Turkey

September 9–November 18, 2021
September 9, 2021

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Anna Laudel Gallery hosts artist Ramazan Can's comprehensive solo exhibition titled I am Neither on the Earth Nor in the Sky from September 9 to November 18, 2021, in its new gallery space. Being the first exhibition to be held at Anna Laudel's new gallery on Kazancı Yokuşu, I am Neither on the Earth Nor in the Sky is a compilation of the works created by the artist in the past seven years, using different materials.

The artist emphasises that the nomads were as free as birds as long as they were able to migrate. However, this freedom was taken away from them as a result of the resettlement policies implemented. Ramazan Can reflects his childhood memories as coming from a nomad family in his works, which serve as a bridge between the past and the present. With its title, the exhibition also refers to the actions of settling and migrating, which are used to describe the nomads.

The exhibition, which spreads over two floors of the gallery and features works produced with different materials, consists of three parts around the themes of Nomadism; Shamanism, and Identity Issues & Art Appropriation as seen from the perspective of the artist.

In the first section of the exhibition, Can deals with the theme of nomadism and refers to Anatolian culture and traditional handicrafts using old carpets, neon works, and sculptures. In his half-neon and half-carpet artworks, the artist questions the relationship and the hierarchy between these two means of expression, like for instance old-new, up-down, earth-sky, art object-ordinary object.

The exhibition emerged as a result of Ramazan Can’s research on traditional rituals. In his artworks, the artist reveals that most traditions can be traced back to Shamanism, the belief system before Islam. These traditions, which can also be seen as proof that some rituals of mythological origin still exist, help the artist to approach current problems from a "Shamanist" point of view.

While seeking answers to these problems, the artist is able to establish connections between the past and the present and compares the modern with the primitive. 

Appropriation and identity issues
The third and final section of the exhibition presents artworks dealing with art appropriation and identity issues. By partly overpainting works of well-known masters of the past, Ramazan Can creates painterly collages in the context of art appropriation. In iconic paintings created by giant masters like da Vinci, Raphael, Dürer or Manet, the faces of the portrait individuals get replaced with alternative heads made by Can.

In some works, the artist takes the entire composition of the original work as a printed reproduction, and then paints his own expressive version of a portrait in thick layers of oil paint above it. 

Under the topic of identity, the third section of the exhibition includes many self-portraits of the artist which are neither naturalistic or realistic, and it also deals with the psychological state of modern man.

Ramazan Can's solo exhibition I am Neither on the Earth Nor in the Sky can be seen from September 9 to November 18, 2021, at Anna Laudel’s new gallery located on Kazancı Yokuşu No: 45.

*Content of the press release is taken from the concept note written by Marcus Graf. 

Ramazan Can
Born in Manisa in 1988, Ramazan Can graduated from Gazi University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Fine Arts Education in 2011. In 2015, he graduated from Gazi University Fine Arts Institute Graduate School of Painting and continues his education in Gazi University Fine Arts Institute Painting Department Sufficiency in Art programme. He is also a research assistant at the Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Gazi University. Can has participated in a large number of solo and group exhibitions in Turkey and continues to work at his studio in Ankara.