This is My Island
Servet Koçyiğit’s second solo presentation at Rampa, This is My Island, marks a new phase in the artist’s practice and features his latest collage, video and sculptural works made in the last three years. The autobiographical terrain suggested in the exhibition title points to the initial stage of Koçyiğit’s recent engagement with the methodology of mapping, of attempting to understand the world around him through the act of surveying, measuring, marking, tracing and collating information.
Adding the representational language of mapping into his long-standing artistic vocabulary of craft, Koçyiğit appropriates this system of data compression to depict imaginary geographies on hand-sewn surfaces in his new large-scale collages, on view at Rampa for the first time. Through these intricately detailed maps, the artist suggests a poetic parallelism between the physical labor of sewing and the act of covering distance. In new video, installation and sculpture work produced for this exhibition, Koçyiğit continues to reference the earth we inhabit and constantly transform, whether realistic or imaginary. The artist’s playful approach to creationist theories and to love in these works also bears traces of his questioning of borders. Be it physically through travel or figuratively by moving forward, Koçyiğit patiently maps his own territory.
The artist’s commitment to charting new territory signals a shift in artistic language, and taking the idea of mapping in its broadest sense, initiates a personal investigation into limits, borders crossed and obstacles that await. This is My Island is a personal inquiry into the idea of place and non-place, of belonging, of carrying one’s home on one’s back. Taking these notions as a point of departure, this long-winded mapping project will expand from the personal to include social, mental, and economic tropes.
Servet Koçyiğit’s varied artistic practice of the last decade revolved around taking everyday phenomena and rendering the extraordinary qualities of these moments tangible, exposing their inherent proximity to malady (be it personal or collective), absurdity and abnormality. Oscillating between the dominantly male humor of weekly comic magazines and an obsessive craft production, he had until now occupied an almost oppositional, or agonistic, artistic position. Through the act of mapping, Koçyiğit’s second solo exhibition at Rampa, This is My Island, emerges as a new phase; a reconciliation of these two sides of his practice.