The majority of Turkish art admirers will remember French contemporary artist Daniel Firman from his sculpture named Loxodonta (2017), which is an impressive giant elephant and once was hung from the ceiling of the old liquor factory building in Mecidiyekoy, Istanbul during the “At the Factory: 10 Artists, 10 Individual Practices” exhibition of Pilevneli in 2018. While the elephant was modifying one’s perception of the space it occupied, some spectators like me – more into sustainability – were also attracted with his “Gathering” sculptures. Those are colourful, cheerful and chaotic-looking sculptures addressing today’s socio-economic state of the world due to capitalism and the culture of fast-moving consumption. The series of statues started Daniel Firman moulding his body in 1999 and he accumulated a great number of objects in a pile on his body.
As we come to summer of 2021, we visited “Wall Dancing” exhibition of Daniel Firman this time in Bodrum at Pilevneli’s Mandarin Oriental Gallery. Although its advantages and disadvantages are arguable, Bodrum has become new Istanbul due to Covid-19, attracting many Istanbulites having permanent homes rather than just summer houses. For this reason, the life in Istanbul has shifted to Bodrum as many outstanding restaurant brands, famous chefs, art events, galleries and the social life have moved to Bodrum for summer. Pilevneli Gallery plans to present the works of important representatives of contemporary art in Bodrum during the summer season. No wonder, Alem’s Art Weekend in collaboration with Lucca, which was recently opened in Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, will take place in the first week of June.
“Wall Dancing” includes four new sculptures that belong to the “Attitude” series, as well as three miniature sculptures of another very important and representative series of the artist “Gathering”. The “Attitude” sculptures resemble photographs of paused dance performances, accepted as part of “Pop” sculpture but points much deeper concepts posing many questions about the ‘truth’ and ‘representation’ of reality. The artist’s solo exhibition is open to visitors between the dates May 12 – June 6, 2021.
As a final comment, I can’t help saying that I found the contrast between the philosophy in Firman’s artworks and the target client segment of Mandarin Oriental a bit ironic.