İsmet Doğan / the Artist’s Works
İsmet Doğan was born in1957 in Adiyaman (Turkey). He graduated from Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts in Istanbul in 1983. In 1987 he received a French Government Scholarship in Paris where he spent two years. In the 1980s, under the influence of Dadaism, İsmet Doğan created collage, graffiti, and assemblage used ready-mades and works on the problematic of culture, tradition and history by plastic means. As a thinker his attention was drawn by the aspects of violence and trauma, especially during the century of westernization and modernization in Turkey. By introducing Latin letters for instance into his art, Doğan revealed the language reform in
Turkey in the beginning of the 20th century as a political vehicle of a social engineering which subsequently caused the nation an alienation from
it’s own culture. Thus seeing in this a violent political act which resulted in trauma. In terms of Doğan’s critics of modernism, written letters assembled to words (as Logos or Ba^Ba) or scattered randomly
over the canvas stay an essential component of his oeuvre till today.
In 1990s, after receiving the French Government Scholarship, he did not intent to stay in Paris but returned to his native country and resided in Istanbul. Here an installation as a form of realization of his artwork assumed ever greater importance for Doğan’s art practice. “What I am trying to do as an artist is a sort of intervention or modification of the existing visuality” – so Ismet Doğan.
In 2000s he integrated another critical dimension into his artwork;
especially interested on the subject of colonialism he approached a strategy of art historical references and cinematographic
Doğan undertakes a change by integration of his own image into the filmstrip commenting thus on the identification and empathy with movie characters and at the same time on the hegemony of western visual culture. On the other hand the movie material gaines thus a status of an art motif.
A mirror has one of the most essential roles as a working material for Doğan. In the half-matt or transparent, convex and concave mirrors the
viewer is reflected, multiplied, and confronted with his own body as a
stranger and even more, operating as something else, namely as a part of
Ismet Dogan lives and works in Istanbul.