No Where

Mümtaz Sağlam


Moments frozen in the place where they occurred
or about esthetic perceptions focused on thoughts of extinction

Burcu Perçin who has lately drawn the special attention of all circles for her unique handling of location paintings … Needless to say, the dynamic attitude of her style reflects a solid background of pictorial tradition. Yet, under the weight of psycho-pathological influences, this attitude has manifested itself by the creation of these impressive images that have such striking visual effects.

The artist who has delved deeply and for long periods in such haunted sanctuaries of the city, insists on  illustrating the melancholic vacuity she has felt in these NO-PLACE locations, by this series of gloomy descriptions squeezed between concentrated  sentimentsof “waste and denial”.  This approach which basically takes its strength by witnessing the impaired social and cultural realities, expresses the sentiments of emptiness felt by the artist in these locations, as it does by transmitting the true image as a frozen instant.

a purely tragic visual analysis

Burcu Perçin, whose sources almost always originate from a photographic media, somehow manages to transfer her visual conceptions by re-focusing them on the canvas surface. As a result, she quickly distances herself from the actual visual aspect and concentrates on the plasticity of the picture, not hesitating to use the canvas surface as an area of performance for that purpose. The contrasting relations between the dark and light areas, the tense usage of line and spots and also the succession of textures that recalls ancient manuscripts, all contribute to re-enforce and accentuate this impression.  To a certain extent, what induces Perçin to such photo collages, is her urge to break up the intact world offered by photography and to replace it very effectively by a local dynamism.  The human emotions created by the light that surrounds and spreads over the vacuum in the visual elements or the tragedy evoked by the local’s appearance, are by themselves fully sufficient to draw the artist’s attention. This type of neutral/intermediary areas in Perçin’s paintings, create a profound pictorial description of “NO-PLACE” in a universal language that increasingly transcends the spoken language.

In the series of pictures related with the “vanishing locales” and “functions”, one’s eyes have  a pronounced tendency to direct their glances and focus on the production areas. And you  watch sadlyhowonce their economic life is over , these too  are finally abandoned and turned into silent .

At this very moment, by finely adjusting her lens and later holding her brush in the right position, Perçin succeededto transform the scene in the subject of avisual analysis.
And thus, by overtaking the sadness and melancholy of the image, she manages to breath into the picture. a kind of inner dynamicity. In other words, this quality has a profound influence and directly affects the violence and tension of Perçin’s paintings.

visual aspects of a vanished locale

In the pictures of the NO-PLACE series, Burcu Perçin was rather inspired by the chosen locale’s interior … and here, we are now confronted with a crude and realistic inner view of the place, which for lack of communications with anywhere is fully detached from the outside world. In other words, these glass walls which were erected by these denial mechanisms, stand as fragile scenery designed for special eerie and fearful scenarios

Unaware of the transparency of the glass walls that surround it, the interior turns into a psychically dark and mysteriously blind area whose traumatic dimensions flagrantly contrast with the realities of the outside world.

Even more, the shocking contrast between the outside world and the interior space further enhances the locale’s traumatic dimensions. And, to a certain extent, by her perception of space and her repeated references to the inner locale, Burcu Perçin herself reaffirms our own sense of space, and provides us with a chance of improving the selection of a correct angle to view her painting.

As a matter of fact, what differentiates so much the interior from the exterior is the reality that as perceived by Burcu Perçin from where she stands, the vague and chaotic emptiness of the locale,  have lost their social and cultural powers to affect the outside world.

The aspect of what once was a active production place in its present ruined, destroyed and/or abandoned state, creates a much more humane appearance. That is exactly the difference that Perçin insists on showing us. The loss by this production center, of its dominating powers, of its economic importance and above all, of its real functions, induces in the viewer an acute and pathetic sense of sadness.  From now on, all that’s left are sentiments whose main significance concentrates on a profound and provocative emptiness.  One should also point out that when as a result of the loss of memory due to this world’s indifference, such areas with twisted luck turn into emptiness which make them even more visible

In fact, these observations directed towards this type of symbolic locales of the post industrial process, are just a visualization of the breaks that normally occur in the series of events which characterize this period…

Because it looks as if this image represents the failure of a system that did not succeed in realizing the promises of modernization. In other words, it is as if the loss of its functions have provided a sufficient causes for its suicide or its fall into such a melancholic state and if as if the process of destruction was frozenand time had been stopped at that instant.

no – placeor the area of silent emptiness

In fact, the loss of function which has put been forward in NO-PLACE has now become an unavoidable area for Burcu PerçinIndeed, Perçin whoin her previous works simply expressed functions, is now after and  wants to draws attention to the interesting appearance offered by functions and their environmentsin a state of energy and production,

The inescapable conclusion that arrives at the disappearance of the functions in this environment and its means, now faces her with new questions. And as a consequence, this encounter brings with it a more realistic, critical and emotional content. This production location, having lost its worldly meaning and therefore its power and usage, situates itself at an ambiguous middle point, which cancels internal/external dialectic.  These kind of places, appear as the “area of a silent emptiness”, which is built upon the disconnection between inner and outer life.

What Perçin is ideologically interested in might possibly be the idea of showing the reality of how temporary and various concepts and values about production and effort resulting from the place’s tragic evolution. Therefore, the pressure of spirituality and emotional density at a location, in which there are many concrete images together, is a consequence above all.

It can be said that the mentioned image points (with reference to David Harvey) to the temporariness existing in the form of society, to the fall of social commitment and the differentiating values in a divided society. We can also highlight that the attention bombardment, which this visual contains, creates the problem of a high pressure in an emotional way.

The psyche becoming clear with a neo-romantic sensation

Right at this point the power of the psychic effect, which Burcu Perçin’s style increasingly reflects in her paintings should be mentioned. It is hard to say that Perçin, who feels closer to emotionally dense places, is an approach wholly established on this point. Or the tragedy of the place pulls the state of mind, specific in Perçin’s paintings, to a known and probable level. Undoubtedly, the psychic effect intertwining with her style, surrounding the location at an ultimate level, conditionally relating the painting with a more harsh and critical statement becomes clear with a neo-romantic sensation. Especially, the colour choices of the artist and the covering of the whole surface with differentiating lowered values with white enables us to mention an atmosphere related to social, cultural and to the same extent subjective facts on a dimension corresponding to the content.

The sensual stimulation found in Perçin’s works is naturally about the return to the traces and images (wreck?) of the previous life lost on a level of location. Perçin, getting closer to this image pile through formal language while promoting her own distance by abstractionism draws back from the emotional area partially. Nevertheless, this withdrawal isn’t an obstacle for the psyche cowered by the general concept of the painting. In emotional context importance and priority built and become clear according to a hierarchical perspective even can be said. Indeed, the fact which guides Perçin’s paintings and joins it with further meanings can be seen at the distinction of the comment which enables the flow of consciousness and sentimentalism. Particularly this narration developed through internalized artifices at the process of identification with a location and expressing it in its own tragic dimension seems to owe its order to “a psychodynamic perspective”. This dramatic statement leaving itself behind substantially, almost offers the emotional scenes of a common story generalizing adapted to today once again.

Briefly, the psychodynamic approach characteristic of Perçin’s paintings becomes clear with this perspective which greatly anonymizes emotions. Negative emotions and social facts are pulled to a level together with an associational situation, which includes the observer and makes him/her responsible. Moreover, it enables the romanticism, which Perçin experiences to be seen in a tendency postponing its subjectivity in the control of a gradually preponderating expressive qualification. This, in fact is a consequence of a voluntary transformation to a certain extent. Since the new style of Perçin, which carries her recent paintings to a new creation and design process, builds and develops them with systematic linear densities,  catches one’s eye.  The line formations, frequencies and prior situations created by the masking tape draw the surface like a pencil. Yet, these elements which increase in irregular lines present a partially mechanic image.

These lines, which have the whiteness of emptiness, seem to directly point to a transformation search, which passes the transmission of emotions we mentioned on to the rational design once again.

Painting as a contemporary interest and problem area

The phenomenon, focused on contradictory situations by Burcu Perçin, includes a spiritual dimension full of conflict, which refers to the past. This perception, which has direct metaphorical meanings of imaginary waste, forms the subjective interior fiction once again. Glass and metal elements joining with negative stimuli such as dirt and rust recreates the atmosphere on a painting level. Only in this way Burcu Perçin, includes the hidden meaning wandering on the boundaries of dark narration to this fiction. Therefore, the pursuit of archeological traces of the past, carry us to typical post-industrial predictions, future concerns and such like traumatic facts. While expressing her confirmations through the possibilities of visual language, together with vibrant lines, crowded splashes of paint and/or the light cast by stratified paint-texture print, is in pursuit of the image which she has seen at the mentioned location. Thus, the painting prediction, which meets her own inner world and spiritual point of view, is a new expression of a new fictional design and new world at the same time.

As a result, Burcu Perçin in her “No- Place” tries to examine, time stuck in location with a grotesque fashion which creates shocking effects on the observer. Especially in these paintings it is possible to see Perçin’s motion to decisively firstly to set up the picture and the creation of pictorial situation with formal interruptions, which even remove spatial belonging. Hence, it is possible to observe a painting approach, depicting location and subject more fluidly, continual, impulsive taking empirical risks, and in which the artist experiences with pleasure and passion in the act of design. The fact of the painting, which the surface has kept alive, gains importance and priority as a more comprehensive and contemporary interest and problem area.