The artist Rafet Arslan continues to tell his stories through his collages, stories, paintings, sound recordings and performances for more than 10 years. It would not be wrong to call this essential figure of the contemporary art sphere, a modern (or postmodern) storyteller.
In Arslan’s art, the totem notion is a metaphor revealing the contrast between what’s ancient in the involvement with infinity and the endless consumption that invades our everyday life. And through the works he produces, the artist poses the question; “if the totem is an indicator, a sign, what do the totems envisaged for the 21st century symbolize?” Are they a symbol for salvation or judgment day?
The eternal recurrence of infinity and daily products continuously being consumed only to turn into waste, then their recycling and then again and again their re-production and consumption- a vicious
The state of consumption being a waste, temporariness as against the spiritual holiness of what’s ancient and the ethical relationship art establishes with it... By imagining “Successive Totems” the artist asks new questions about the cycle of the human civilization developing successively.
The artist while setting for the archaeology of this contradiction, at the same time becomes the precision balance measuring the weight of daily life on human soul. He does not shy away from entering crummy passages where dark ghosts of the past who invade the present, to search for light within the darkness. He certainly does not hesitate to make fun of darkness itself and to laugh out loudly with an aesthetical black humour. He turns the reflection of our “to-yester-day’s daily lives right back at us in the reflection of a mirror”.
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