BENNU STASIS: WE SHALL MEET AGAIN IN THE LIGHT
Duration: 3 October 2021 - 30 September 2021
Artist: Jake Michael Singer
Curator: Sinan Polvan
Creative Director: Taner Yılmaz
The young artist from South Africa Jake Michael Singer’s giant abstract bird sculptures as metaphorical representations of freedom and incarceration, order and chaos, are being introduced to İstanbul’s art lovers, in the “Küçük Mustafa Paşa” Hammam, as a site specific installation “Bennu Stasis: We Shall Meet Again in the Light”.
Muse Contemporary is presenting a mega project in the historical “Küçük Mustafa Paşa” Hammam, under the patronage of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the South African Embassy, and with the collaboration of the Municipality of Fatih in İstanbul. Jake Michael Singer, the young artist from South Africa had his first presentation at the group exhibition Angel, in the St. Antoine Church in İstanbul. Two years later, Singer has returned to İstanbul, with the site-specifıc installation titled “Bennu Stasis:We Shall Meet Again in the Light”. The installation can be visited from October 3rd to end of November 2021.
The work is staged as a dialogue between segregation and unity, chaos and order, suffering and overcoming. The exhibition title refers to Bennu; an ancient Egyptian deity that symbolizes catharsis, renewal and the rising sun. “The choice of staging the show in the 544 year old Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam provided an ideal context and volume for the installation.” states the show’s curator Sinan Polvan.
Muse Contemporary has invited Jake Michael Singer to Turkey
We have been working on the project for two years with Jake and our team. During the time period spanning from decision to actualization of the project, we faced quite a number of obstacles due to the pandemic.However, we persevered in our conviction and succeeded in completing this ambitious project.” mentions Ayşe Pınar Akalın, Founder and Director of Muse Contemporary.
Sinan Polvan, the curator, stated that selection of the 544 year old “Küçük Mustafa Paşa” Hammam provided an ideal context and volume for the site-oriented installation.
The creation of 13 giant-sized bird-like sculptures was completed in 3 months in İstanbul, involving the intensive work of a large team.
The works shown are the result of a three month residency organized and produced by Muse Contemporary, the artist and his two assistants temporarily relocated their studio from Johannesburg to Istanbul and enlisted additional help from seven Turkish artisans. Singer’s conception of the monumental marine-grade steel sculptures were aided by the savoir faire of Turkey’s rich history in artisanal craft and metal work. Materiality and the transformation of everyday objects are in the core of Singer’s practice as he explains: “The steel rods are used mainly in the construction of fences and this creates a paradox in the work as the shape alludes to freedom, migration and the bird that is the archetype of the divine, whilst fences symbolize incarceration, limit-enforcement and separation”. The artist also mentioned that he appreciated very much the synergy of the team in İstanbul.
Installation – Metaphor for freedom and incarceration, order and chaos.
The sculptures soar in a spiral path towards the light filtered from the cupola dome around 46 feet high (14 meters) representing the avian choreography. Visitors will be met with a multi-sensorial experience; scent of the freshly mowed grass, music and steel reed fixtures adorn Singer’s monumental sculptures and paintings.
Historical sites in the light of contemporary art.
The installation stands as a metaphor for both collective and segregated humanity, for concepts of freedom and incarceration, order and chaos. In an era that can be characterized with deprivation of humanity’s collective instinct through disruptive migrations and segregations, we wished to refer to nature’s inherent intelligence, in birds’ concerted harmony and intuitive path-finding through their unbound and unconfined soaring in the air.
Our installation for the 2013 “İstanbul Biennial” at the historical “Küçük Mustafa Paşa” Hammam initiated the use of this setting for international art events. We are proud for this trend-setting and for having returned to this site after its renovation, with a major contemporary art event.
Presaging new project developments
Young artist Jake Michael Singer claims this recent experience to be a turning point in his career and plans further collaboration with Muse Contemporary and the Municipality of Fatih for new project developments on the historical peninsula of İstanbul.