Born in Ordu in 1989, Alper Aydın completed his studies in the Sculpture department at the Gazi University Art Education Faculty after finishing the Painting Department of Ordu Anatolian Fine Arts High School. Through an Erasmus exchange program, he studied sculpture, video, and performance in Italy in 2010. He received his graduate degree from the master’s program at Gazi University with his graduate thesis “Land Art In Turkey” and he completed his PhD in 2019 at the Hacettepe University Sculpture department with the thesis, “The Dialogue Between Body and Nature”. The artist researches the physical circumstances of the environments he is in, as well as the idiosyncratic flows in nature, working in photography, sculpture, installation, performance and temporary setups using natural materials to make interventions in nature. By observing, collecting, and adding new forms, he leaves behind temporary traces, transforming the place. He has been producing with the Ankara-based artist-initiative Pelesiyer, where he is also one of the founding members.
The artist, who has previously participated in the artist residency program at Cité des Arts in Paris, participated to the first term of SAHA Studio between August 2019-February 2020.
With the intervention in the forested areas in Nazarköy, Izmir and Belgrade Forest, Istanbul, Aydın suggests a new path for the flow of water through a labyrinthine path that he has made with clay. The water previously flowing with the natural angles and coves in nature now continues to flow through the shapes dictated by the labyrinth. While the perfect form of the clay structure is affected by the process, the water returns to its natural path. The labyrinth’s previously determined exit and entrance and the nature’s own way of emergence and disappearance can be observed in the process; human intervention in nature and nature’s own intervention into this constructed process create a cycle of two dynamics interwoven, each with its own rules.
The Yason Cove, where the artist’s home is located, hosts a bell glass placed in a tree trunk that has completed its life cycle as a result of the floods triggered by global warming; the bell jar is home to a small-scale ecosystem of plants and a coccyx, which is the tail bone. The monkey sculpture is the focal point of the installation, representing the beginning of people on this earth. the sculpture’s passive viewership reminds viewers that within the life-death or emergence-disappearance cycles of nature, the human presence is made moot and the tragic end that is expected is unavoidable, as presented in the contemplative look in the monkey’s eyes.
With this project, Alper Aydın is trying to grow edible plants with the human breath using the process of absorbing the oxygen that gives life to the body and turning it into carbon dioxide. The breath that emerges from the body in the work is what makes the artist feel his own existence and hence the condition of being human. In this sense, the project takes place as a body image against the human being. In the project, basic vegetables necessary for human life are grown in the bell glasses using air from human breathing and water. Carbon dioxide is given as needed in intervals based on observation, and the room that they are in is 12 hours night and 12 hours day, illuminated with artificial light. The size of the bell glass varies according to the size of the plants. While asking the question of whether he can create nature from his own body through human actions, Aydın tries to create a new nature where he can meet his own needs to replace the nature he has destroyed.