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.
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 way of thinking through the transformation of these forms. Brutalist architecture, which was birthed as the continuation of the modernist movement in cities destructed by the Second World War, marks the starting point for the works in the show. RAW, 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.
Through the technique of watercolor, which the artist often consults to, Eren produces symmetrical and sculptural forms that are beyond standard scales. The artist recognizes the similarity of such forms to the modern Soviet architectural characteristics, and its relation to Brutalist architecture, which further allows him to develop his research project titled ‘Abstract Structures’.
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. 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.
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. These structures, considered to be alien forms, which are disconnected from the end of their regime, invite the viewer to reflect on the pure state of the form.