Air Pool – Merve Özaslan

 

This piece is part of a series call “Natural Act” which focuses on the relationship between humans and nature.

 

On first glance this piece looks like a vintage photo, which carries along with it glamorous and nostalgic connotations. But then this piece takes the viewer’s eyes on a journey and this piece starts making less and less sense. This piece is in black and white, and has a consistent gradated tone, this is created through both of the ‘base’ images having similar lighting. This all helps fool the viewer into thinking that this piece is a real, true and ‘valid’ image. This piece starts messing with the viewer’s mind as they try to realise and comprehend what they’re looking at, this causes the viewer to create their own story in their head to try to justify and quantify what they are looking at. This is what I love about this kind of surreal collage, it’s so simple that it catches the viewer off guard.

 

This piece is composed of 2 images, one of women sunbathing around a pool (which is hinted at by the title) and one of either clouds or smoke. These images have then been cut together to make it look like the women are lounging/sunbathing at the edge of the world – just off the edge of the abyss. This could symbolise that we (human beings) are at the edge of self-destruction or complete destruction of nature.  Which then makes the lounging women seem like they are part of some ritual, like a sacrifice or surrender to the swirling clouds below. This could represent a sacrifice to nature or the abyss, or as an ambivalence towards them. Or this ambivalence could be towards the destruction of nature through fire and smoke. The smoke might be hinting at greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, and how they are destroying the environment but we aren’t doing anything to stop it.

 

This piece links to my work in this project as her collaging style has really influenced my style, making it more surreal and minimalist. I love using two seemingly unrelated images to produce a narrative, and I will carry this concept through to my visual poetry and video work.

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