DELIBERATING ON THE BLIND

Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants (STEVIE WONDER)

Ali Akay

Murat Pulat mostly uses film images in his paintings. The films of Godard especially have a privileged place in his work. At first glance, he particularly seems obsessed with the former model Anna Karina, “Cahiers de Cinéma’’ writer Jean-Luc Godard’s lover and wife between 1961-1965 (Anna Karina, named so by Coco Chanel, modelled for Coco Chanel and Pierre Cardin. She was discovered by a talent scout while sitting at Café Deux Magots one day but it was Godard who in fact directed her towards cinema), and the images of cinema stars in general. Pulat makes a reference to the films of the 1960s by using black and white in his work.

Letters, words have a vital place again, as is the case in Godard’s films. Letters reinforce the play toward form and content as individual manifestations. And when he adds colour, he sometimes uses objects that add spark to black and white images. The objects are enlivened on a black and white background, and sometimes, colours are woven as if to create a sense of touch. The images he refers to as signals can be read as manifestations in a sense. It’s as if the blind direct the colours. Different colours penetrate through each other and get mixed up. For example, there is no red in “Red”, his oil painting of 2009. Instead, a blue texture prevails and it weaves its own texture. As if making a reference to the Virgin Mary, the image features the relationship between mother and child. Like Leonardo’s Mary, the artist who again sets off from a photographic image, a figure that could be assumed to be a boy, is resting his head on the lap of a woman whose eyes are closed. However, it’s as if the two bodies have not been articulated. While one rests on the other, the other lies at the bosom of a mother. The blue texture covers the painting cyclically and it makes a reference to the colour red. In this sense, we can immediately emphasize the importance of the blind in Murat Pulat’s work.

Do the blind see colours? Are our dreams in colour? Or do we see our images and in fact our letters in black and white as if they’re an image unto themselves? As is the case in Arabic calligraphy, and contrary to the Western alphabet, are letters, calligraphy (The lines referred to by Kandinsky as lines), individual images? Western modernization has borrowed much from the Arab world, much the same as in the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire’s concrete poetry (poems that become images from words and sentences); but these innovations have always been acknowledged as Western modernization because the innovations in question were always made in the West, especially in Paris.

murat-pulat_anna-karina_oil-on-canvas_3x150x150cm_2015

MURAT PULAT, ANNA KARINA, OIL ON CANVAS, 3X150X150CM, 2015

What about dreams: The early 20th century. What understand from the transcripts that Adorno wrote on his dreams in 1934 is that the relationship with death is accidental; he notices himself, later, crying at his broken body.  Places and characters get confused; it looks like life and death. Interestingly, the dream ends in 1936 when he awakes from his sleep with the sentence “I don’t know” by a sad Agathe, who he sees in his dream, regarding whether or not they will unite after they die. There are no colours, only events and occurrences. In another dream, the Drouot auction house is confused with a brothel. It’s 1937. “Is an auction house the same as a brothel?” For Adorno perhaps? Instead of “eating” girls, he thinks about eating food – transitions between meat, female meat and animal meat, the meat of sexuality and the meat of food are confused, without a single metaphor, simply as an image. In a dream in 1938, Hölderlin searches for Adorno; but Adorno doesn’t actually see Hölderlin himself; he sees Hölderlin’s name and letters. Letters have actually become the dream itself in this dream. Do letters appear in dreams? In the form of black and white? Or will they become visible over time?

Will Murat Pulat’s 2009 dated painting called “Şey” (Thing), which sets off again from a photo of Anna Karina, appear as “virtual”? Her hands, just like in Mary’s “Red” painting, are blue and yellow; but we see the same colours in the background: like in Asian Chinese art where the front image and background connect without any hierarchy. We see the same colours on the woman’s face; the object in the background and her skin beneath her black and white dress all possess the same colour. It’s as if a photographic image from a particular era was used as the starting point; science fiction colours, as if belonging to a post-human era, to the 1960s where debates on “humanism and anti-humanism” are rife in France.

When looking at his limning speed and tardiness, an imminent movement may strike the blind, for those who can see; because pictorial speed can be followed with the brushes in his paintings. But what is the starting point? Should we be searching for an eternal substance here? In other words, research into the absoluteness of creativity.

This is a very dark aspect of the arts. What is it that starts with pattern or paint and colour? In this sense, are the blind inherent towards painting or are they outside of it? Questions may follow questions but as to the question ‘where to?’, a different question and even in fact a final question becomes clear in the approach of artists when they work. Anna Karina is shown on a canvas and the word “Anne” (Mother) is legible somewhere on it. Is the starting point “The Mother?” as it’s written, or is it Godard’s Anna Karina?

From where has the painting begun? Where do the blind stand at this point? Were they considered from the onset? Was it in the beginning or during the process? From where can the reality of this be understood? Paradoxes, for this reason, become interesting at this point because within the empty space, while we’re thinking about which comes first, it may in face be that the artist’s actions simply start by considering an eternity within the question of speed and tardiness. Whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, this is where each artist’s desire to touch a godly creation comes from. An individual is not godly, but this is where the word creation comes from. When positioned within the Renaissance, it’s called God’s signal or even in fact da

signe, his signature. As the blind find their way by opening their hands out, do artists progress by moving their arms up and down, as if blind, at the very beginning? If it’s not eternal and the considered godly creation, or the eternalness within the nature of art, then from where do we start? The beginning, in this sense, and possibly, seems to be the thing that interests us the least, regardless of how much we’re carried away by the question of ‘where it all began’.

Murat Pulat does not reveal where he started, however he does show us that he uses the language of cinema. And in a sense, the creator comes from the godly Godard, almost blindly. When considering the relationship between perspective and Godly perspective, St. Augustine referred to an allegory: a vision that belonged to skin and a holy vision. An allegory is the subject at hand as an analogy. The likening of two different things: A similarity that’s unable to be shaped on similarity: Like the brain and walnut analogy in the Middle Age. Alternatively, like the homology between the human mouth and the trunk of an elephant in ethnology, and the analogy between the human hand and the trunk of an elephant… Like the analogy between the godly and the humane, or the creation and cinematic creation… Augustine too forms an analogy between God’s eye and the human eye: each have a source of light. Murat Pulat undoubtedly uses light but with an internal light from Godard, he touches the analogical union between images and then places his own letters in them. Visibility and readability come from these words. A painture allegory then starts to operate within an analogical relationship because the blind are nurtured by the same source of light. This is where the cinematic images of the 1960s become even holier. They change function. This is when we consider the allegorical union of the source of light of birth, mother, child and the blind. In this sense, we’re within a simulacrum now, within the post-modern era in which we live; the concept we’re in and considering it’s an era that’s post Feuerbach and Nietzsche and even post God, unlike the time of the holy light within an institutionalized Christianity as was the case in the time of St. Augustine, as if remembering Baudrillard, is simulacrum.

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