Lover’s Shore, 2023, Video loop, 4´min, 4K

Onur Mansiz

Exhibition at the St. Regis Hotel Venice

Onur Mansız, born in Istanbul in 1986, is a Turkish artist who now lives and works between Spain and Turkey. He studied in the Painting Department of the Fine Art Faculty of the Marmara University. Then, he undertook his MA in Contemporary Art: Creation and Investigation at the University of Vigo in 2015.

The artist focuses on the concept of the “body” as a stable and consistent region inhabited by the subject, symbolizing subjectivity and serving as the home for the process of self-realization. The depictions the artist creates of the body are characterized by the reflection of images on the latter, placing the body in a state that is neither naked nor dressed. These images function as a secondary layer of meaning to the interpretation of identity that the artist seeks to establish. The artist deliberately separates his subject matter from its contextual surroundings. This isolation enables the viewers to engage more intimately with the existential problems embodied by the figures. In his hyper-realistic oil paintings, Onur Mansız establishes a personal connection with the figures by actively involving his own body in the artistic process, serving as a creating-intervening body.

In his „ERA“ series, the Turkish artist is inspired by the text „We have never been human“ by D. Haraway. It suggests that the artist is on a decade-long exploration of the relationship between nature and the human self. Onur Mansız’s works depict a process of infiltration into the subject’s self, with the „perpetrator“, who is depicted as the changer/ transformer being portrayed as nature itself. The process explores the transformation of natural components projected onto the body, emphasizing the artist’s desire to distance himself from humanity and purify himself from his emotions.

His art creates a hybrid race, devoid of emotion, gender, origin, system, and identity, challenging conventional notions of humanity. It prompts us to question what defines a human being. So, can we confront the question „what is a ‚human being‘?“, through the authority established in the space and the viewer. Through interventions and changes in size, by using the power of the material while reconsidering the structure of the Esfera and Helix sculptures. Using steel he transforms fragile structures into unnoticed shields, we fail to realize the mortality of the need for protection that underlies their existence.

The artist hides the tension between spiritual and sensual connection, revealing the hidden side. This reveals the intertwined relationship between humans and nature, challenging notions of human dominance. It’s a confession to relinquish privilege and recognize inter-connectedness.

The change of relationship between humans and nature in the course or decades has started a new disruptive era: the Anthropocene Epoch. The desire to dominate has replaced the respect that human beings have for nature, of which they consider themselves a part. At the moment when Mansız is uncomfortable with being human and tries to purify himself with the help of the components of nature, the perpetrator will confront him with a reality that he has not been aware of until then: the reality of approaching mere humanity while fleeing from being human.

Price on request for the following artworks

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