Between November 18 and December 15, Pg Art Gallery presents Hasan Pehlevan’s personal exhibition entitled Formicarium.
In this exhibition named after the Latin word for “habitat (carium) of ants (formi)”, Pehlevan adapts formicarium, a space designed to observe and explore the behavior of ant colonies, into the human habitat and ways of living. The exhibition investigates issues of urban renewal, habitation, destruction, and cultural migration on the basis of basic modes of living. Also in his recent project “Fikirtepe Intervention,” Pehlevan brings together the frescos, the stones and “objects from excavation sites” in areas of urban renewal, along with their videos and images.
Pehlevan’s frescos are like the records of eradication of a city’s memory, but just like an archeologist he is still able to convey the audience the memory of a “found object.” In the series “Objects from Excavation Site,” the forms collected through an archeological excavation into a cultural heritage may seem at first look only as remains from an excavation. However a closer look reveals them as a functionless object which is not a stone. The exhibition features Pehlevan’s works and interventions between 2014 and 2017 in Fikirtepe the urban renewal of which still continues. Indeed, he seeks to a pose a definite question in all the anonymous forms he created in Fikirtepe: Does art have the power to stop destruction?
Pehlevan’s exhibition is also a remainder for his hometown Diyarbakır where some parts of the city walls were demolished in order to “let the city breathe” in 1932. The destruction was finally halted thanks to the letter of the archeologist Albert Louis Gabriel to the Turkish government in Ankara. Ruins and destruction render memory and remembering collective.
Hasan Pehlevan graduated from Department of Painting at Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts. He is currently a graduate student at Department of Plastic Arts at Yeditepe University Institute of Social Sciences.