Ozan Atalan


The Felt Reality

Baku, Yarat Contemporary Art Center Residency, 2018

The installation questions theories of perception in a surrounding of rapid-change and information over-load. The artist, however, is not interested in the culturally constructed dualism between “the cyber” or “physical reality", which opposes terms such as information and logic to terms of feeling and imagination, but to look at the process of transformation as a whole, in specific how the theory of “speculative aesthetics”is proposing: the world is both subject to human transformation and natural transformation, and from the perspective of speculative aesthetics, changes in politics and changes in nature are in a content interconnection. Taking Azerbaijan`s history and geography, and urban changes in Baku as a material, his works offer an independent co-existence of natural and cultural units questioning the possibility of building a culture based on respect to things as they are, and ignoring the duality between man and nature.

Text by Anna Fech, The Curator

The Wall

Built with the stones currently produced in Ghobustan area of Azerbaijan, the wall simultaneously hides and opens a window to the digitized image behind. The image that could be seen through the window is also taken from Ghobustan, a national park hosting Prehistoric rock drawings, and represents an ancient rock drawing in a heavily glitched way. As the wall stands for the physical reality of the area, the photograph refers to how our perception is changed in a highly digitized era, via digital transformation of a sterotypical image of Ghobustan. In this sense, the installation disregards the binary separation between the physical and the digital using the history and current situation of the area as a metaphor.


The Video Installation

 Screens with merging edges in the corner position themselves in an equal distance to the viewer. Moving from the question how changes in politics may be equivalent to changes in nature, one video examines the natural transformation of Ghobustan`s rocks, as the other one documents the transformation of Kubinka, a large gentrified part of Baku. It is not a comparison between, but rather a co-existence of how nature -without human intervention- and political decisions can transform the stones of the same geography. 

The Tank

The tank including some aquatic plants, a plastic bottle partially covered with mussels and urban ruins re-formed by waves creates a small habitat where artefacts and nature as it is co-exist. The installation ignores human-nature duality.

Concrete Covered Pine Cones and Soil

In this ground installation, concrete covers endemic pine cones and natural units, and forms a dead artificial section of nature in order to criticize overwhelming human impact on nature.