Bringing together new works by Nil Yalter, the exhibition takes its title from the material transformation of burnt sand into black, as observed at a foundry in the neighborhood of Hasköy, Istanbul. The blackness of this special material, the flames that transform it as well as the crater, known as the flaming Door to Hell, in the middle of the Karakum Desert are the source of the artist’s investigation into images of darkness and closure.
Focusing on a series of relationships that are central to art, science and mythologies such as those between the concepts of production and destruction, chaos-balance, black holes and universe(s), Nil Yalter observes Hasköy, a neighborhood in Istanbul currently undergoing a process of urban transformation, through its streets and its sand-casting foundry workshops. Travelling through the flaming hole inside one small workshop towards the center of the Earth, the artist sees Piet Mondrian’s meticulous perfectionism and geometry in the metal machine of another master.
Having worked on the processes of urban transformation affecting neighboorhoods of a diverse set of cities such as Paris, New York, Istanbul and Lyon, for her exhibition “Kara Kum”, Nil Yalter has collected various materials and images from the rapidly changing neighborhood of Hasköy to create installations, videos, photographs, canvases and a performance. The notion of the ritual, which has held a special place in the artist’s career spanning more than 50 years, is staged in this exhibition as the space of encounter between alchemy, physics and art. Chapters of prologue and epilogue support the theatrical installation of the works, transforming the exhibition into a scenography encapsulating the viewer.