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Ansen (Turkish, b. 1978)
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Ansen (Turkish, b. 1978)

Hunting Tales

Ansen (Turkish, b. 1978)
Hunting Tales
archival pigment print
49¼ x 106¼in. (125 x 270cm.)
Executed in 2012
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Lot Essay

'My work is grounded on human nature and the desire for power. I switched the focus of my work lately to 'domestication'. The first piece of this series is Hunting Tales. People have been hunting for a long time, since the Stone Age. Of course, people are not as strong and agile as animals, but they have become successful hunters and developed many hunting techniques by using their intelligence. They figured out ways to become more dominant than their hunts. As a result of domestication, using domesticated animals to hunt became a tradition in the Eastern civilizations, especially in the Middle Asia and Arab Peninsula, where it met the needs of the region. I present the story of the visible elements of hunting in my new work, titled Hunting Tales.I am not the story teller in this piece, contrary to my previous works: the audience is free to create and tell the story as she/he reads it.'
(Ansen, 2012)

Ansen creates a monumental painterly photograph-nature, power, modernity, fiction and truth are immersed in a single space. In Hunting Tales, a desert scene is depicted with three main figures and their falcons seated by a roaring fire. Two sitters have their backs turned away, thus inviting the viewer into this world of fictional reality. The faces are obscure as the strong desert wind blows and covers them. The Herculean bodies imply strength and power. The luminous golden glow manifests a sense of depth as light travels across the painterly image. Ansen's Hunting Tales is reminiscent of a pre Modern 'Orient' - one before the witness of technology, one in which tribes are depicted in a more primal manner as they strategize their next feed. Is Ansen subversively questioning technology and modernization by offering a scene that appears to be distant from his native Istanbul's city lights? Playing with art of the past and the modern is typical of Ansen's oeuvre as theatrical settings are created to point to another universe in which the boundaries of fiction and reality are perpetually blurred. The mediums are in themselves challenged as he laboriously creates clay sculptures, subsequently photographs the scene, in highly saturated colours, to ultimately resemble a painting. Ansen further insists on rarity by only creating a single print. The scene which he creates - as the puppeteer tthat commentates about the world of the 'now' vis-à-vis a bygone era only appears in a single form in a universe where images have become ubiquitous.

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