Cansu Sönmez

Civilization, But How?

September 17 - October 5, 2019

Pg Art Gallery is pleased to introduce Cansu Sönmez's first solo exhibition titled “Civilization, But How?” at Tomtom District No:10 with art lovers. Sönmez's “What is Civilization?” exhibition, which will include three different series of works that deal with the question and the phenomenon of the city created by civilization, will be open to visitors between 17 September – 05 October 2019.

The origin of civilization, the English equivalent of the word ‘civilization‘, is Latin’ word ‘civitas’ meaning ‘kent’ in Turkish. The word ‘civil’, which comes from the same root, means ‘urban’. So for today's world, can “civilized” just mean “those who lives in the city”? When we think of the civilized world that has come through the ages, shouldn't we imagine more sensitive people who can live in harmony with both nature and non-self? As a result, doesn't civilization require that the people living in the cities that it has created have risen to a higher level of mind? Apparently not all people living in the city are civilized at the same rate. The discourse that encourages the construction of buildings contrary to the environment in which it exists today for various reasons has filled and transformed the city we live in with fictional structures that have been separated from its own nature. With the permission of the landowner to the skies, a depressive feeling environment was created in cities which consisted of congested buildings that went on and on. Will the generation that can't resist the system in the city where an isolated life is marketed and the structures that extend to the sky turn into monumental tombs be able to exist in this world whose ecology has been turned upside down?

Cansu Sönmez, who has been studying the subject of dystopia for a while and has studied the city in his work in the last two years, focuses on the residents living isolated from each other, with no need for anything in apartments set in tall buildings in her “Conapt[1]” series which she was inspired by Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. A bird's-eye view for this exhibition gives a concrete city feel and a sense of loneliness in its installation of construction materials. In Dick's same novel, World War 3 has just finished and a radioactive cloud of dust has engulfed the world. People who escape from the dust cloud are trapped in the conapt buildings that are created and looking for their feelings in an unhappy state. Inspired by the novel attributed to the early 21st century, Sönmez reveals a similar situation in the ’Conapt’ series.

The artist also reinterprets her latest work from 2019 in this exhibition, presenting it to the audience. Sönmez's work’ “Playground for Adults” addresses the dystopian situation created by distorted urbanization in our country. The installation, which describes the frightening city of barbarians in a critical way, is expressed in the field with the Morse code rising from the Legos.

In the “Impossible Game” placement on the lower floor of the exhibition, she describes the impermanence of what societies forget to criticize have achieved with ambition. Everything is like the Red Queen's offer to Alice for a business deal: “jam to-morrow and jam yesterday - but never jam to-day.” The “Impossible Game” is the game of people giving themselves up for a jam that will never come. These tiny Legos, which don't intertwine, invite the viewer to perform a fiction that will not happen.

[1] Philip K.Dick's made-up word using “condominium apartment” (flat ownership)