14.09 - 29.10.22
Selcuk Colakoglu was born and raised in Glasgow. He graduated from BA (Hons) Media in 2015 and in 2021 received a postgraduate scholarship from the Glasgow School of Art where he has just completed his Masters Degree in Fine Art (Printmaking). Upcoming exhibitions include, ‘Here and Now’, a group show with Glasgow Print Studio for the 50th anniversary at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in November 2022.
It’s maybe the year 2005 and my friend at school shows me this website where you can click a button and it will generate something from the internet at random. It’s capaciousness unfolded and for hours we would click and click through (from what I can remember) fairly benign pages of cupcake recipes, animal videos, art works, etc., giving a thumbs up or down to tell the website what we wanted more of. Today, I google and see that the ‘Stumble!’ function on the website is a registered trademark and accessible only via an invite code, so instead I Stumble!® listlessly within the millenial-friendly categories of ‘Nature’, ‘Cuuuuute’, and ‘Art’. Created by graduates at the University of Calgary in 2001, and now owned by Mix.com, StumbleUpon used collaborative filtering based on personal preference and machine-calculated opinion, to create virtual communities of like-minded web users, and push web content and advertising. Today, during my scrolling I’m mainly ushered to content on Reddit or YouTube or Twitter. I learn that it’s the artist Kiki Smith’s birthday and I watch a Koala hugging it’s baby to sleep – it’s maybe 2005 all over again.
After finishing his Masters in Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art earlier this month and presenting an exhibition entitled, The Print Studio is a Womb at Glasgow Print Studio earlier this summer, for pause, inside, Colakoglu brings us further into the studio and into a personal moment of recalibration.
Fizzing somewhere between sculpture, printmaking and painting, Colakoglu transforms the materials of printmaking. The screen, the plate, the emulsion carry their own narrative and when loosened, offer invitation. I comment on how the creamy offset lithography blanket used in ‘OPEN SOMETHING (to remember something)’ looks like an animal hide. Colakoglu tells me how during his Masters he spoiled a litho blanket and went in search of it several months later in the workshop to make this work but to no avail (a different one was donated by the print technician) – yet failure is embraced and regurgitated into a new, solid, yet soft, object.
The eponymous work ’pause, inside’, is a segment of a larger work composed of six plates that was exhibited as part of Colakoglu’s degree show entitled, ‘bring yourself back online’; ironically during install we have a conversation about the eternal dopamine battle of Instagram. Here (irl), embracing the slow perusal that the context of Good Press as a bookshop encourages, as time passes, ‘CUT, play’, Colakoglu’s final work made on his Masters, will fade from its rich cyanotype blue. A record of its own ageing, a quiet changing of state (maybe) noticeable only to those regular Good Press browsers and co-op members over the next six weeks. The work here being presented unfinished, raises a challenge (and one that is echoed in Lunchtime’s own morphing state) to the title of this space, ‘gallery’, and offers it also as a studio, a place of process, as well as discovery and communication.
Building on his personal background of working in television and media, as well as the history of print, the pursuit of communication runs deep within Colakoglu’s practice. Images are screenshotted on an iPhone or laptop, and collected from his daily media consumptions (YouTube, pornography, Google, documentaries, etc.) and prepared for printing, half-tone dots blown up to just before the point of popping into complete abstraction. ‘PLAY / cut’ bleeds gorgeous fuchsia emulsion across the gelatinous surface of dissevered screenprinting screen mesh where the white, negative forms of a blade, a skull, poke through. The preservation of a recognisable image that might tell us or give us something is important to Colakoglu; proximity is precious. An opening expanse of multiple interpretation, layers, leading to recognition, a connection, a memory – his but mine or yours too.
Text by Caitlin Merrett King
Download the exhibition text here.