Ali M. Demirel

Theartists Ali M Demirel

Mastery of all things good

The archaic Italian term ‘Uomo Universale’ roughly translates to ‘persons who have mastered all the skills of humanity'. The phrase was coined during the 16th century and is tentatively associated with the Medici family of Florence, who liked to portray themselves as versed in all accomplishments right and good, including art, science, religion, and government. Ali M. Demirel is interested in the contemporary equivalent; the Renaissance man. It is clear that Demirel moves easily between media, choreographing technical, digital, audiovisual performances, yet with an artist's eye, he captures on film the wonders of the natural world and recontextualises mundane reality. In the work series Rockforms (2016) Demirel places us at the cusp of the ocean where at the interface of two entities the shore kisses the land firmly. Rockforms is presented as a single looping video work that maps the similarities found at the exact point two states of matter meet, shaping one another through dance, ebbing and flowing together across time. Through a series of large-scale photographic prints, titled Lichens, (2019-21) the artist explores the organic shapes and patterns of the natural work, looking further into organic symbiotic relationships. This series investigates the organism that lends its name to the series title - the Lichen. The tiny, almost microscopic patterns that the artist captures were digitally enhanced to be presented as a high-resolution print using artificial intelligence.

Collaboration and Mythmaking

After 15 years of close collaboration with the electronic artist and DJ Richie Hawtin and countless headline performances, including one at the Guggenheim in New York, Demirel has moved away from the formal structures of the stage to explore the structures of the landscapes that have birthed ancient mythology. The live cinema performance "Winter Ashes" (2019) is the first in a series of works that thread together strands of "ecology, nature, and myth". Poised to bring a deeper understanding of the way in which the natural world has given rise to the mythologies of ancient times, Demirel has collaborated with the musical artist Anthony Linell. Linell has created a soundscape to accompany the ancestral vistas of the Norse Mythmakers – the raw and unyielding Icelandic landscapes that hold no regard for those that carve out their existence, weaving their sagas and retelling the magic of their world. Rarely do we see a body of work that steps effortlessly between sound and story, nature and technology as in the case of Ali M. Demirel. The artist's relentless mastery of his craft is rivaled only by the strength of his collaborative efforts. Despite the depth of Demirel's subject matter, the artwork speaks without the need for words.

Text by Jonathan Ferguson

Biography Ali M. Demirel


born 1972 in Samsun, Turkey


Education

1993-1997 Bachelor of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

1989-1993 Department of Nuclear Energy Engineering, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Exhibitions (selection)

2023
Seçici İletken, Fişekhane Cocoon, Istanbul, Turkey

2019
Persisting Realities, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

2018
ADA/ISLE, Arter, Istanbul, Turkey (SOLO) Bank, Blank, Former Sparkasse Building, Berlin, Germany
Evolve, K2 Contemporary Art Center, Izmir, Turkey

2015
TodaysArt at SEA, The Hague, Netherlands 2009 Rencontrer l’Europe – Istanbul, Strasbourg, France

2008
Made in Turkey, Positionen Türkischer Künstler 1978-2008, Frankfurt, Germany

2007
Here..There..Abroad.., ifa-Galerie, Stuttgart and Berlin, Germany
Port Izmir '07 Bienniale, French Cultural Center and K2 Contemporary Art Center, Izmir, Turkey

2006
Asian Contemporary Art Week, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, USA
Strangers With Angelic Faces, Space, London, UK

2004
Tedium and Rainbow, Akban Sanat, Istanbul, Turkey
Contemporaneity, National Museum of Fine Arts named after Gapar Aitiev, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

2003
Blood & Honey / The Future’s in The Balkans, The ESSL Collection, Vienna, Austria

2002
Under The Beach: The Pavement, Proje4L Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey


Scholarships & Residencies

2019 Residency, Daire Artist in Residence Network, Mardin, Turkey

Works by Ali M. Demirel

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 02 liquid still ahmet ogut

    Rockform 02 Liquid 1

    2022 / Video, 4K, 10' (loop) / €1,200

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 07 liquid still ahmet ogut

    Rockform 07 Liquid 1

    2022 / Video, 4K, 10' (loop) / €1,200

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 01 liquid still ahmet ogut

    Rockform 01 Liquid 1

    2022 / Video, 4K, 10' (loop) / €1,200

  • Demirel ali mahmut the plant video ahmet ogut

    The Plant

    2018 / Video, 4k, 15' / €7,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut the pier video ahmet ogut berlin

    The Pier

    2015 / Video, Full HD, 17' / €7,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut geoform 01 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Geoform 01

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 60 x 90 cm / 23.6 x 35.4 in / €1,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut iceform 01 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Iceform 01

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 60 x 90 cm / 23.6 x 35.4 in / €1,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut iceform 02 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Iceform 02

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 60 x 90 cm / 23.6 x 35.4 in / €1,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut iceform 03 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Iceform 03

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 60 x 90 cm / 23.6 x 35.4 in / €1,000

  • Demirel ali mahmut lichen 15 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Lichen 15

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 30 x 30 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 in / €700

  • Demirel ali mahmut lichen 16 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Lichen 16

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 30 x 30 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 in / €700

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 02 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Rockform 02

    2016 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €700

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 07 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Rockform 07

    2016 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €700

  • Demirel ali mahmut lichen 14 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Lichen 14

    2019 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 30 x 30 cm / 11.8 x 11.8 in / €700

  • Demirel ali mahmut geoform 01 liquid still ahmet ogut

    Geoform 01 Liquid 1

    2022 / Video, 4k, 10' (loop) / €1,200

  • Demirel ali mahmut rockform 01 photography ahmet ogut berlin

    Rockform 01

    2016 / Photography on Alu Dibond / 40 x 60 cm / 15.7 x 23.6 in / €700