May 20 - June 13, 2021
Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 6-8PM
Amos Eno Gallery proudly presents Traces, an exhibition of a mixed-media installation by Tulu Bayar. Join us Friday, May 21st from 6-8 to encounter Bayar’s most recent installation, which draws upon her decade-long exploration of drawing with photographic film, and utilizes meditative repetition to communicate the idea of oneness: all binary concepts share and are connected to one source. In contrast to an examination of the physical, Bayar’s work focuses on the spiritual essence of wholeness and mysticism that are deeply rooted in Rumi’s teachings.
Traces is composed of several mixed-media works meticulously created from photographic film, ink and resin. Each exhibits an exploration in calligraphic abstraction, performance, drawing, and ebru (Turkish marbling art). Bayar’s meditative compositions of photographic film respond to the traditional Islamic understanding of the spirituality of text, and to Islamic manuscript painting. Repetitious play with material and form lends a performative element to the works, while their intimate size simulates an intensely personal interaction. Regardless of your familiarity with this language, the beauty of the symbolic expression comes to the fore. Bayar’s practice is informed by her experiences and immediate context as an immigrant artist, and her work is deeply influenced by both her native and adopted cultures. Exoticism, otherness, hybridism, homogeneity, pluralism and containment are some of the concepts that she has been exploring throughout her practice. Bayar is interested in engaging with artistic strategies that blur the boundaries between strict categorizations and binary situations. In Traces, Bayar draws with photographic films, as opposed to exposing, processing and enlarging the materials in the darkroom. She sees this work as a journey on a contained surface. She explains, “Drawing allows one to go back and reflect. The gestural record on the surface stages a moment of existence
that is no other moment. By containing that peculiar moment, I feel like I am able to memorialize the process.”
The work draws an analogy between how we experience unconscious emotions through repetition and the accumulation of marks, and between the intonation, hesitation, and inflection of sound (which occur independent of sight, then is generated by the mind and mediated by perception). This way of working with unexposed photographic films gives Bayar a privileged relationship to the non-visible, as the work embodies and exposes the thinking process: “I usually start each work with a social issue in mind. Gradually, the pragmatic develops and disintegrates, leaving behind a sense of the assembled material that transcends the literal. This opens a path to connect with the viewers on an emotional level, and it is also the point at which I assume the work is finalized”, she explains. Traces is a poetic dialog between the traditional and the experimental, embracing a conscious nod to the past with a contemporary examination.
Tulu Bayar (b. Ankara, Turkey) has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the US and abroad. Her work is part of public collections including but not limited to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Samuel Dorsky Museum, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art (Istanbul), and the Textile Museum at George Washington University. Her exhibitions have been covered by international media including NPR, The Irish Times, Afterimage, Photography Quarterly, TRT (National Public Broadcaster of Turkey), the Bushwick Daily and Wall Street Journal. A Fullbright Scholar, she has also received funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Ténot Foundation, artist-in residency grants from Camac Centre d'Art in France and the Center for Photography at Woodstock funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation as well as William Sackett Fellowship through Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Bayar holds and MFA from the University of Cincinnati and is currently the chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Bucknell University.