An essay on the exhibition of İsmet Doğan 

Contemporary art puts itself forth, first of all, by the outputs that escape from the pleasure obtained directly from all of the arts before itself, and that grows away from the esthetics in the sense that we know it. It’s the opposite expression of a pure beauty perception, the one that we have the most difficulty to meet, it’s a process where the visuality is experiences with a shaking sensation rather than being seen. It’s a moment of penetration to the area of solid reality which can not be symbolized, a state of meeting with the traumatic one. This; can be described as a convenient tool which is equal to a new reality perception where “the suppressed is returning” for the generation that feels themselves deceived in a way or which helps to find the way in the late capitalism. This; is the power of the art and it takes its power from the reality.


If it is Marx who discovers the symptom as Lacan had stated, it shows us clearly that the all the structures between the totalitarian social order and the inner areas of our egos are attributed to the common processes. Reality is a kind of production and it shows its relations with the truth through symptom. This is the moment when the distinction between the inside and the outside is torn, and the ego that is kept alive by a fantasy is shaken. At the same time, this is also a moment that causes a strange feeling of freedom due to the fact that it breaks down the codes that is used for the continuity of the system.

The paintings and the videos of İsmet Doğan carry the simple production expression of this shock effect of contemporary art in two different ways. In this way, the videos are more efficient tools compared to the paintings. When the motion-image continuity combines with repeat (rewind) the action itself has an effect which doesn’t miss the viewer by taking the support of sound-image. This effect becomes more striking with the minimal location and the duration in the video. The viewers are faced with a direct situation against the vomits and vomiting sounds and the piece of flesh and the sound of the flesh hitting the wall. The common bond of the vomiting and flesh with the symptomatic one shows itself here. The one that contains vomiting and flesh container; the opposite of everything that is pure and holy, is the revelation of what is impossible to express.


The paintings put themselves forth with different opportunities than videos. In this perspective, in his paintings, İsmet Doğan opens up to a middle transitivity between a fantasy and a determined fiction again with a material vision that is real and cold. In this case, the large-scale paintings, interfere more with the perception of the viewers and again they don’t miss the viewer. The body images in this painting, are an object of desire reproduced as a fantasy by the law, and the vomit is the feeling of abject that is equal to the price we paid in this process. According to the general definition of Kristeva, the “abjection” is all of the things that I have to get rid of in order to be myself.

Abjection, in this way, puts forth the vulnerability of our borders and of the spatial distinction between our inner and outer relations – the state where the meaning collapses – as much as it effects the temporal transition between the body of the mother and the law of the father.

In this way, the paintings of İsmet Doğan, show themselves where Deleuze calls as “fold” in the philosophical terms. Deleuze will mention again that inside is in contact with outside in terms of topology. What causes this is the fold. Fold brings the inside and outside into confrontation at the limit of the living present. It indicates that the outside is a not a fixed limit but a moving matter animated by peristaltic movements. This movement is created with folds and folding that together they make up an inside. What’s interesting here is this. At the same time, Deleuze points out this: ‘inside/insides are not something different than the outside, but precisely the inside of the outside.


From this perspective, wheter it is the violation of the boundaries between the inside or the outside or the total transition which creates each other, the exhibition of Ismet Doğan takes us into a different plane of reality. In this way, whether they are the paintings or the videos, the viewer will be under the effect of the perspective which he is involved in. And this effect does not disappear just by escaping from it, because the images that take their power from the indirect connection that they build with the unconscious mean that they enter a game which the viewer can’t hide even though he tries to escape. A traumatic game where the inside becomes the outside.

Efe Korkut Kurt

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