Bilal Hakan Karakaya: Invisible Cities

Bilal Hakan Karakaya: Invisible Cities

Anna Laudel

Bilal Hakan Karakaya, Diomira Series, 2023. Aluminium, left 100h x 60w x 35d cm, right 90h x 60w x 30d cm.

March 31, 2023
Bilal Hakan Karakaya
Invisible Cities
March 30–May 21, 2023
Anna Laudel Istanbul
Kazancı Yokuşu 45, Gümüşsuyu, Beyoğlu
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Anna Laudel Istanbul presents Bilal Hakan Karakaya’s solo exhibition Invisible Cities until May 21, 2023.

Named after the well-known novel of Italo Calvino, Karakaya focuses on the rising mega structures in metropolitan life and emphasises how desolate and unrecognisable the modern cities have become through the art of sculpture. Visioning abandoned and haunted business centres with a bleak perspective, Invisible Cities is a beautiful selection representing detached metropol cities with gloomy and mysterious highlights.

Focusing on creating innovative and bold designs that push the boundaries of sculpture using a casting technique with a thousand-year history, Karakaya invites the audience to an unknown universe through the feeling of density and congestion of metropoles. In his recent works, Karakaya refers to Glenn Albrecht’s concept of “Solastalgia”, a combination of the Latin words for comfort and sadness. A dystopian depiction of urban life challenges the concept of home which is reframed as a daunting place that provides inhabitants an alienated, trapped, and imprisoned life in blinding lights. Described by the artist as “the modern-day equivalent of mediaeval darkness”, the artworks in this special solo selection create timeless spaces with sculptures that are dynamic or static, hanging between the past and the future that are reminiscent of Plato’s quote: “As above, so below”.  

Bilal Hakan Karakaya’s selection is inspired by the metropolises that have become desolate and unrecognisable during the pandemic. Inspired by urban life, the sculptures of Karakaya prophesy that  we would be living in a submerged, dark future within forbidden, dangerous and deadly states. The artist’s works are inspired by business centres, which often turn into ghost towns at night, giving a sense of unreality and uncanny when viewed from a distance.

Offering a new perspective of urban life, Bilal Hakan Karakaya’s solo exhibition Invisible Cities can be visited at Anna Laudel Istanbul until May 21, 2023.

Bilal Hakan Karakaya
Born in 1979 in Ankara, Turkey, Karakaya graduated from Gazi University’s Faculty of Education’s Art Education Department. In 2006, he began collaborating with the artist Hanefi Yeter and in 2014, he displayed his first solo exhibition Hybrid Delusions at Anna Laudel. Karakaya’s three-dimensional visual works are intended to explore how the repressed emotions or the dreaded experiences are buried deep into the subconscious and preserved in mind. By using ancient casting techniques and materials including stone, metal, and wood, Karakaya’s recent sculptures aim to take  the audience into an unconscious space, or a kind of hallucination, living a dream or an illusion.

The artist also use stories from fairy tales, dreams, or mystical events portrayed in Anatolian or Greek mythology which offers a spiritual trip. From mystical illusions inspired by the mythological characters of Anatolian culture to unconscious phenomenas such as nightmares and sleep paralysis, the artist integrates a wide cognitive field to his artistic expression pointing deep fears, feeling of discomfort, vulnerability and lack of trust that leave marks on every soul and personality.

Karakaya continues to participate in different group exhibitions and international art fairs and work in his own workshop in Istanbul.

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Anna Laudel
March 31, 2023

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