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The impetus and dynamic orchestration of the fluctuating bodies in Impossibile Sculptures symbolises the eternal tension between the terrestrial and the celestial. The work of artist duo, Hande Şekerciler and Arda Yalkın (ha:ar) centres on themes that span from our ancestral feelings to the postmodern sense of alienation. Impossible Sculptures captures the essence of our times. The artists portray dense compositions of bodies that appear reborn amidst an ethereal surrounding, reminiscent of an ultra-contemporary Renaissance.
The composition is often purposely left unbalanced, encouraging the viewer to take part in this act with a revolutionary gesture. Within this communion between the scene represented in the artworks and the individual viewer, the artists play the role of narrator, observing the response of the viewer with an open and forgiving mind. Here, the artists are the tellers of a story that permeates centuries of human existence. If it is true that nothing can be created or destroyed, ha:ar are the testimony that a realm in which the embodiment of the present and the uncertainty of the future can blend in harmony, revealing an intangible hyperuranium.
In Impossible Sculptures No. 22, ha:ar merge sacred and profane scenes with a strong connection to the present. Simple gestures become cults in veneration of an unknown god, an extension of our perishable flesh in search of an eternal life.
In this work, Impossible Sculptures No.21, the artists take inspiration from Giambologna’s statue Abduction of a Sabine Woman, a tragic episode in which the men of Rome abducted a number of women from neighboring cities. In this artwork, emphasis is placed on Giambologna with the extension of the arm of the woman in the middle of the composition. Trapped by strong arms, the genderless body attempts to escape the unpleasant touch coming from underneath. The figure’s need to elevate their soul towards the sky creates a felt sense of alienation. Others are seen alone and in a state of concussion, as if fighting an invisible enemy.
The Last Supper is one of the most iconic mural paintings by Leonorado da Vinci in which Jesus shares a meal with the twelve apostles. In this painting, Leonardo chose to depict the moment in which Jesus announces to the diners that one of them betrayed him. In the piece by ha:ar, this defining moment is substituted with the act of taking selfies with a celebrity. ha:ar reimagine a post contemporary scene in which the celebrity functions as a mirror to a future society, taking inspiration from Hilary Clinton’s recent campaign.
The Making of Impossible Sculptures
As seen in this video, ha:ar create all elements of their sculptures from scratch. The entity of their artistic input on the digital work is as detailed as in Şekerciler’s bronze sculptures. Designed by hand on a drawing pad, ha:ar leave nothing to chance. In their process, each detail is carefully reviewed until everything meets harmoniously.
Hande and Arda sculpt all figures individually using sculpting softwares, such as ZBrush, Nomad and others. Their textures are all created with Substance Painter without the use of any readymade textures or figures. After the sculpting and texturing process, the main compositions are created in Cinema 4D, often using the Arnold renderer. Lighting, environments, and colors are all made during this phase. To render a single image can take quite some time, typically up to one or two weeks if the image has a large size (0.6 gigapixel) and volumetric displacements.
ha:ar First NFT Release
ha:ar genesis works Impossible Sculptures will be released on SuperRare starting from April 1st to mark the occasion of ha:ar exhibition opening at Cer Modern Museum in Istanbul (March 26th – April May 18th) alongside Hande Şekerciler’s solo show Ecstasy with the participation of Arda Yalkın (March 3rd – April 20th). Each of the 7 artworks exhibited during the ha:ar exhibition will be available to collect as 1/1 NFTs on SuperRare.
ha:ar have created three unique art light boxes for each one of the Impossible Sculptures series, which will be exhibited and available to collect as editions. For more information about the lightboxes editions, please enquire at Cer Modern Museum.
Hande Inspirations and Historical References
Hande Şekerciler is a renowned Turkish sculptor whose style is reminiscent of Hellenistic sculptures which were developed soon after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire in 31 DC. Characterised by naturalistic and quotidian scenes, Hellenistic sculpture was used as a means to portray young athletes, emperors or gods in glorified or in votiv acts. In the Hellenistic period, the use of marble was permitted strictly for portraying gods, goddesses or emperors while bronze was used for sculptures representing everyday life.
Hande’s use of bronze wants to capture the essence of our times, recreating intimate moments with references to a sublime common past. Hande’s sculptures are a meeting point between classical and contemporary design, revealing our unveiled self.
Hande’s Ecstasy sculpture, Self Portrait No.1, is on view at Cer Modern Museum until April 20, 2021 and will be displayed in the heart of Mayfair’s art district, in Berkeley Square in London (UK). Hande is also represented by London-based JD Malat Gallery.
About the Artists
Working between Istanbul, New York and LA, sculptor Hande Şekerciler and new media artist Arda Yalkın established ha:ar with the passion to combine a classical approach to art with new technologies. Their passion for mastering production and exploring new possibilities of expression has led the duo to work in a wide range of fields including video, animation, music, generative art, and even artificial intelligence, as well as conventional methods such as painting and sculpture. Seeking a new and original form of expression by blending their individual practices, the main subject of ha:ar’s works can be summarised as “conflict with the civilisation created by humanity, the technology it produces and the way of existence.”
ha:ar received invitations from Residency Unlimited (NYC), Artist Alliance International (NYC) and 18th Street Art Center (LA), and completed programs there. ha:ar, which opened its first exhibition in New York in 2018, participated in CADAF in 2019 as part of Art Miami, and Contemporary Istanbul 2018, 2019, 2020. ha:ar is the co-founder of the Piksel New Media Residency Program (http://piksel.ist) a non-governmental organisation that seeks to teach young artists about new media art and Augmented Istanbul; the first AR technology-based contemporary art platform in Turkey in partnership with Contemporary Istanbul Foundation.
So far, the duo’s works have been exhibited in museums, art fairs and galleries in Turkey, USA, Spain, Italy, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Greece and Russia. In their new exhibition at CerModern South Hangar Gallery, the works from the series Lucid and Impossible Sculptures reflect on the artists exciting forms as well as the art practice that is realised in the real world and in digital realms.
ha:ar have also worked in the music industry and for a variety of advertising campaigns and commercials, designing and producing concept art and animations that are close to their artistic approach.
Impossible Sculptures was designed, created and developed by ha:ar and curated by Serena Tabacchi at MoCDA, Museum of Contemporary Digital Art.