A DAY NOT YET LIVED
Found porcelain and ceramic statuettes, dimensions variable, 2014

“ The Fragile series of work from this exhibition is inspired by nostalgia for the artist’s childhood. A key memory of this period was visiting the houses of friends and relatives and seeing decorative ceramic statuettes in prominent glass display cabinets, but not being allowed to play with them. As a young adult he began collecting ornaments reminiscent of those from his childhood, but it was not long before these delicate, mass produced items got cracked and broken as he moved from one house to another, leading to the urge to glue one broken part onto that of another. Gradually this process of breaking and mending transformed from a weekend activity with little aspiration of being a serious creative process into an obsessive creative template.

Aslan uses this procedural template of repeatedly shattering these ornaments, compiling the broken pieces, and then amalgamating them as the mechanism for the creation of a series of nameless, hybrid configurations with jarring characteristics. Within this approach, the traditional planning and blueprints that characterizes most approaches to art making don’t exist and the act of conception and production take place simultaneously in single, destructive acts. There is also something very endearing in his deliberate rejection of the constraints that stopped him from playing with the figurines as a child.

For A Day Not Yet Lived, the artist has produced creatures that appear to be straight out of folk legends or mythology, yet backstories or scripted journey for these figures don’t actually exist and the artist deliberately leaves the viewer to shape the character’s stories.

The Fragile series debuted at Aslan’s solo exhibition in May 2013 at the prestigious Arter- Space for art, Istanbul in which he created seven distinct bodies of work, each relating to a different day of the week. Originally representing Sunday due to its hobbyist connotations, the series has subsequently been exhibited as standalone artworks in a number of exhibitions, with A Day Not Yet Lived being the culmination of this developmental process.”

Neil Jefferies

installation view from “A DAY NOT YET LIVED” Pi Artworks - London