Taking its name from the French phrase béton brut (raw concrete) by Le Corbusier, RAW focuses on the Post-war era of the 20th century where artists and architects from around the world have created monuments in hope of forming a better world.Brutalist architecture, which was born as the continuation of the modernist movement in cities destructed by the Second World War, marks the starting point of the artist’s works. The exhibition, which explores the early signs of Brutalist aesthetics, starting from the military architecture of the early 20th century through 1970’s which marks the peak years of the trend and has given its most aggressive examples, opens an area where the meaning and forms are rebuilt through the historical evolution of the past.
Structures produced out of concrete and which function as monuments, military shelters and residences, are spread over a wide geography such as Yugoslavia, United Kingdom and America, reflecting the representation of a certain ideology; and throughout his works, Emirhan Eren triggers a new way of thinking through the transformation of these forms.
Sound mirrors built on the coasts of England, a crematorium dating back to the times of the Soviet Union, or Yugoslavian Brutalist monuments are among a few of the references for the abstracted works the audience will come across while visiting RAW.
Through the technique of watercolour, which the artist often consults to, Eren produces symmetrical and sculptural forms that are beyond standard scales. Works throughout the show, which seek to find ways of forcing the boundaries of the material, are at times sharpened by contours, and often become organic structures and layers that are abstracted through melting these boundaries with forms that are obscured. Alongside the watercolour paintings, the exhibition includes photos, digital prints, concrete and metal sculptures.
Beyond an architectural trend, Eren questions Brutalism as a kind of modernist reading which bridges past and present through its represented relationship with heritage and art.