Mehmet Ali Uysal
Su

JAN 8th - FEV 20th, 2022

Mehmet Ali Uysal’s project for Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

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Jan 8th – Feb 20th, 2022
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Mehmet Ali Uysal

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

Mehmet Ali Uysal’s committed installation plunges Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche under water from January 8 to February 20, 2022.  With the turquoise waves reflected in the window displays and the gigantic icebergs, this installation has a strong message that questions the current climate issues and how they wash over our lives and thoughts.

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

"Mehmet Ali Uysal is a figurehead of the new generation of Turkish artists and became known for his dreamlike creations that question our perception of space and the environment. His sculptures and installations twist, defy and distort the laws of nature and its dimensions, give a unique vision of the world around us and open the doors to our imagination".

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche​
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Mehmet Ali Uysal prepering his exhibition "Su"

"Each year Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche gives carte blanche to a contemporary artist and showcases their creative vision, an occasion that has become an unmissable artistic event in Paris. Mehmet Ali Uysal has imagined “Su” this year. It means “water” in Turkish. Two monumental icebergs give shape to the installation, installed either side of the emblematic Andrée Putman escalator. These suspended ice cathedrals are enormous works rising up to the glass roof, representing the level of the sea, just above visitors’ heads. And if one is massive, the other, in two parts, is thinner and floats slightly higher. As a symbol of the ice melting, this water then spreads to the department store’s window displays thanks to a clever play on light".

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
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Installation view at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

"This reflection continues on the second floor and can also be seen through a large 17-meter by 8-meter white boat, shaped like the paper boats we made as children. Visitors are invited to enter it to consider an outlook on the horizon through the portholes inside. This installation is like a Noah’s Ark, symbolizing the hope of the world in the future, saved from the rising waters. In parallel, a catalogue has been published for the event in collaboration with Benjamin Dutreux. He is a yachtsman who takes part in the Vendée Globe yacht race and is also ambassador of the Water Family, an association based in Biarritz that raises children's awareness about protecting water. A means of collecting microdonations for the association will be set up during the exhibit. All that is collected from rounding up centimes on payments that will be proposed and collected at checkouts will enable ambassadors from the sports, artistic or scientific worlds to raise awareness of classes in schools in France about protecting oceans".

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

"Two visits of the installations will be specially designed for children through the presence of the artist and a storyteller. Benjamin Dutreux has seen the effects of climate change during his races around the world, and will also have a conversation with Mehmet Ali Uysal about their respective experiences and fascination with the water and its challenges. “Su” by Mehmet Ali Uysal offers a reflection about the environment through the artistic prism, inviting us to look inwards to sketch out a future with greater commitment".

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

The artist materializes  notions that are theoretically impossible to represent. He twists, shapes, distorts reality, bringing it beyond its boundaries. He offers concrete solutions to abstract problems.

Mehmet Ali Uysal, The Sea, 2017, Public Collection, Cappadox, Turkey

"The ocean and water in general is an essential element in our ecosystem on many levels. I almost drowned in the sea when I was four years old. That experience taught me that the sea was both magnificent and terrifying.​"

Mehmet Ali Uysal for Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
Mehmet Ali Uysal, view from the exhibition "Ne M'abandonne Pas", Untitled, Water Series, 2020, courtesy Paris-B

“The artist is renowned for his ability to subvert time and space : “Space, as we perceive it, is an illusion, he says. Our eyes only allow us to reconstitute reality in two dimensions, and it is through movement that we grasp the third one. Space is not really something we can see. We feel it”.

His large-scale installations are shaped from the specificity of each environment they are created for, hence deconstructing our preconceptions”.

Mehmet Ali Uysal, Peel Series - 01, 2016, mixed media, variable dimensions
Mehmet Ali Uysal, Pince à linge, 2010, mixed media

Born in Mersin (Turkish) in 1976, Mehmet Ali Uysual lives and works between Paris and Ankara. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Ankara where he obtained his PhD in 2009 (Department of Sculpture) and took part in an Exchange Program in 2008 at the École Nationale Superieure d’Art de Bourges. He is considered a major figure of Turkish contemporary scene.