Hasan AKSAYGIN 
(b. in Nicosia, 1986) 
Lives and Works in Berlin, DE.

hassanaksaygin@gmail.com //
+49(0)176 305 421 99 / +49(0)304 052 15 47 / +90(0)533 862 33 97 //


EDUCATION

2016 - 2018                 MA, Universität der Künste, Art in Context, Berlin / DE
2010 - 2015                 Diploma (BA/MA), Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, Painting, Berlin / DE
2005 - 2009                 BFA, Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting, Istanbul / TR


SOLO EXHIBITIONS 

2015                         JHAD, GSL Project, Berlin 
2012                         Methodical Inquires #3: Hasan’s Surprise, Polistar, Istanbul


GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018                         Conlang, Seen by #10, Museum für Fotografie, Berlin           
2017                         Reframing Worlds, nGbK, Berlin
2017                         Shadow waiting for the Full Moon, OBROŃCÓW STALINGRADU, Sczcecin
2017                         ğ – das weiche g. queere Formen migrieren, SMU, Berlin
2017                         Bodylandscapingtime, nGbK, Berlin
2013                         Bufferzone: Checkpoint, Apartment Project, DEPO, Istanbul
2011                         Responding To The New Moon, Tanja Wagner Gallery, Berlin
2010                         AH OH, Galerie NON, Istanbul
2009                         Borders-Orbits 06, Siemens Sanat, Istanbul


CURATORIAL  

2017                         Co-Curator, The Lightest Shade of Aflatoon, SMU, Berlin


LECTURES and PRESENTASTIONS


2019                         New Materialism as Empowering Art Practice, Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel 
2017                         Artist Talk, SMU, Berlin
2016                         Power of Myth and Homoerotic Desire, Leibniz University, Hannover
2012                         Artist Talk, Polistar, Istanbul        


REVIEWS

2015                         "Art & Feminism // Hasan Aksaygın: A Superhero Jhad”, Göksu Kunak, Berlinartlink

                  
                      
                      
                      

                      
                      
                      
                      



The Red Letholith*: This project is about a fictional approach to a certain geological stone, the formation of which will take place after the sixth mass-extinction caused by humans. This rock has a taxonomic kinship to the stone of Adnet or the most used interior element of National Socialist architecture in Berlin, Reichskanzlei-Marmor, but with an essential difference. The usual sedimental matters such as (in-)organic calcium-carbonate depositions of these red-condensed limestones will be disturbed with a new component: The traces of humans. Such a thought experiment within the fictional gaze would give us an indication of what might be readable in this stone after its discovery. Furthermore, they also will appear to signify the self-destructive facts of today, which are influenced by continental philosophy’s binary thinking, such as culture-nature dichotomy and its derivative dualities.


*Letholith is a hybrid word, I created for this project, compounding two greek words “Lethe” — which means “oblivion” or “forgetfulness” related to the word “truth”, “aletheia” which also means “un-forgetfulness.” Lethe was also the mythological goddess of oblivion, the daughter of Eris, with whom one of the five rivers of the underworld of Hades is often associated. The newly deceased must drink the water from this river to be able to forget all of their past to be peaceful in the underworld of Hades — and “Lithos” — means “stone.”  

 
 The Red Letholith (Berliner Triptych  / Acrylic on Birch-wood Panel 
120x130cm (central panel), 123x63cm (wings) / 2018


The Text on the Frames:

The benefits of writing are two fold, says Parent; therapeutic for my depressive episodes and it might produce something educational for new arrivals. 

For thousands of years, I had been frozen at the zygote stage. Parent and I departed the Moon for the Earth when the time came. I was either a fetus or an infant while traveling. Although, I don't remember the moon, it looks very beautiful when there are no clouds in Earth’s sky. 

Amongst all the other homo-ecologici, I was the first to survive. Some Parents had problems with their craft’s landing operative systems, some couldn’t provide enough nutrition for the infants. My reproduction pair could not make it either. We were eight years old when zir body went cold due to a genetic kidney disorder. Now, I am waiting for other Parents to arrive... this time, to altogether nurture new ones to thrive. A single launch every five years... each Parent comes to nurture the pairs. 

I first heard about the 6th Extinction from Parent. Inhabitants used to call themselves human before they disappeared. I have learnt everything about them and their mistakes. The kind of mistakes will not be repeated if the Project Parent manages to seed the planet with us... if there was sustainable life again.

The Earth has made it. It is wonderful here, to feel the air. Others with nervous systems are slightly different now than they were in the human era. I've learned of their appearance and behaviors from archival footages in the Parent-Database. I, too, look and function differently than homo-sapiens. The Designers based our creation on their genetic makeup so that we could easily adapt to and harmonize with the Earths renewed ecology. 

They had also done their best for our education, but I can still sense their humanist outlook. The Parent-Software had been programmed by the Designers who, after all, were humans. Why am I here in the first place? Harmony is in my genes. However, I still am afraid that I might have already been contaminated with some aspects of humanism. I don’t want us to destroy this beautiful place again with narcissism. 


Sometimes
I wanna kill myself. 
But I can’t.
This
is the core of my fear. 

This is why
the project’s philosophical inspiration
was romantic 

not a realistic one
it was 

Posthumanism my ass! 


The Designers had not planned to bring other organisms with symmetrical nervous systems from the Anthropocene; just vegetation to grow and to be seen. This is what I do mostly... growing plants with Parent. This was a strategy just in case the familiar-plants had no proper nutrition. They could not have predicted the life today.

Beside growing grains, I have tried to find the Anthropocene’s trace. I went through many geology books of the Parent-Database. By using the Parent-Rover and zir CheMin instruments, I have stumbled upon a kind of sedimentary rock as evidence. From a specific stratum, I have collected many samples. 

I have named it the Red Letholith from the time of homo-sapiens... 



The Red Letholith (Berliner Triptych  / Acrylic on Birch-wood Panel 
120x130cm (folded) / 2018






 

                   Untitled  / Oil on Wood / 40x30cm / 2017          Untitled  / Oil on Wood / 40x30cm / 2017



“Im Fokus: Zypern, der Insel der Aphrodite”*
These murals shall be read as crystallization of circulating mythologies, which are out of control. The audience of these paintings is somehow asked to correlate their knowledge about the archeological finds and the “unfamiliar” people around them. The work is reminding that the ancient artifacts  generally are taken from their own time and space to be placed elsewhere, where they are either highly glorified or degraded just like people, who are forced to displacement by the very same powers.


*”In Focus: Cyprus, The island of Aphrodite” is a name of a permanent collection in Neues Museum of Berlin. The collection displays archeological finds from Cyprus. I used this name as a “ready made title” for the project.




                                  In Fokus: Zypern, Insel der Aphrodite  / Mural Painting / 2017
                                  
                                   In Fokus: Zypern, Insel der Aphrodite  / Mural Painting / 2017




                                           (My Portrait in) 2071  / Mural Painting / 2017
2071 depicts a dystopian but humorous scenery of Germany’s future. My visit of Charié’s “anatomy department” and revisit of Germany’s brief colonial history related to this hospital in Berlin, that is about researched bones of to genocide victims from the former colonies, were the reasons of my artistic clash within the contemporary German Post-Truth Politics. This mural painting shows a future fragment of my bones researched and exhibited in the Anatomy of Charité in the year of 2071. 2071 is the era where Germany ruled by AfD (Alternative for Germany, a right-wing populist political party) under the name of United States of Conservative Germany or in short U.S.C.G (Vereignigte Staaten von Konservativen Deutschland oder V.S.K.D.)



The Text on the Paper:

2071


So here you are. Another visitor... You stare at us with your curious eyes and wonder why on earth we are not buried underground. You are probably wondering whose bones we are. Who is or was the poor dead person, whose organs, muscles, and veins have had to decompose under the hard light of scrutinizing gazes? You might think that corpses need the protection of dark earth. And if you are a Muslim, as this poor dead painter used to be once upon a time, you’ll know that your bones need the bugs, the worms, and all the beautiful creatures of the night if they are to rest in peace.


So there is no peace for us. We are trapped in this fucking cold glass vitrine. Each gaze is torture. Particularly the gazes of those who torture us, the ones who voted for those that created a monster called  Vereinigte Staaten vom konservativen Deutschland. 


If you look up, you will see a hole in the forehead. A fractured os frontale... Out of all of us, the one who suffers most in this show is os frontale. She would do anything to be able to hide from your gazes, to hide that little dark hole on her surface.


A fatal stroke... That hole might seem little, but it was created by a deadly stroke. A small but fatal impact... which killed the painter.


Since you are here, looking at us, please let us at least tell the truth: We are not just any old pieces of the Charité’s collection. We are not the remains of corpses of people without families, without lovers, without friends or without stories... There is a story behind us. There is story behind the broken os frontale. You need to hear that story.


The painter was killed by a German guy called Jan... You probably don’t know Jan. But if you had have ever met him, you would have seen how he hated and feared people like this painter. But it wasn’t just hate or fear that filled his eyes, but also desire and love for people like the painter. For people who migrated to this land from the lands of dark skinned hairy men, like this painter used to be once upon a time. Jan was a painter too. In one of his works he painted the painter in front of a concentration camp. He was nostalgic for the times of concentration camps. That must be why he celebrated the second Annexation of Austria in 2030. That must be why he couldn’t stand seeing the success of the painter, who he hated publicly, and loved secretly. Love and hate. That must be why he bought that little hammer from Bauhaus in Neukölln. That must be why he followed the painter secretly one dark Thursday night. That must be why he called out to the painter, “Hey du Dreckstück!” as they passed through an empty street. That must be why he hammered the os frontale, which gave way immediately. A small piece of os frontale stuck into the delicate, soft, pink tissue of the brain. The painter fell down on the snowy street. The blood turned the snow into red cotton candy. Jan stayed for a couple of minutes next to the dead body of the painter, and then he went home, as if nothing had happened; as if it was just any old Thursday night.



Yener Bayramoğlu 
                                         
                                                                      


Jhad is a superhero, who carries my particular socio-economical and sexual codes in Germany. We co-habit the same body and learn from each other. The 5-year-old Jhad is a “believer” and his understanding of devotion is shaped by the sexual prejudices of the white German gays, who must be sexually satisfied by him through his sexual superpowers. Jhad does not oppose these prejudges which brought him in to existence; on the contrary defends them as he is the image of the Orientalizing gaze.

The uncanny way in which Jhad personifies both Desire and Fear simultaneously presents the best combination for libido. The connotations of Islam, just as it is represented in media, enables him to trigger a discourse of conflicts. He renders myths of Orient both as a fantasyland where all erotic dreams come true and as the motherland of terror where western values go to die(!) 








JHAD Loves a Prologue Too

That postmodern irony  embodied in superheroes has been mostly responded by an anarchist humor in German modern culture. To trace it back to cartoons, comics and political satire, the weekly Simplicissimus published between 1896 and 1967, with a hiatus from 1944-1954, is a highlight with contributions by Hermann Hesse, Gustav Meyrink, Fanny zu Reventlow, Frank Wedekind, Alfred Kubin, Otto Nückel, Robert Walser, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Heinrich Mann and Erich Kästner. The Simplicissimus caricatures mainly addressed Prussian military figures, and rigid German social and class distinctions. Comic books were not published in Nazi Germany because such literature was banned under the “Smut and Trash” decree. And the post World War II comic sphere is shaped by translations like Tintin, Asterix and Marvel characters even though there were figures, with critical attitudes towards superheros, like private detective Nick Knatterton in the 1950s or Werner in the 1980s. The Marvel database has a long listing of its Germans characters and some of the popular figures such as Max Eisenhardt, also known as Magneto, is an outcome of many atrocities of The World War II that transformed his youth.

The superhero character JHAD appearing in the context of Berlin is not a coincidental proposal and should be read with such a critical cultural background. JHAD shares the body of the artist Hasan. In his painterly work, Hasan has re-thought about the icons -religious superheros- and their interrelations within personalized narratives and through cross-cultural hues. Today's anti-Islamic turn, its constructed mythologies, the globalized 'Other' and the consequentially re-orientalized bodies of desire have formed his thinking space for a while. Though he resists to label his work as queer art or use 'queerness' as his sole symbolic capital, his work desires a new form of politicization in queer perspective and looks for different means to make such a new form possible.

Superheros are agents for shifting imbalances of power structures with a moral urgency. JHAD, on the other hand, carries a Foucauldian agency that looks for different tools to transform the self and redefine the limits of the physical body and its pleasures. His name may provoke and has many colloquial references too. He is a Berliner phantom; he has a fashionable glam taste, he loves to appear, disappear and re-appear in the dark corners of places where erratic bodies find comfort and pleasure. He wants to operate with that absurd humor Germans use to respond to superheros and to play for a shift of taste in that respect. He has his personal and phantomatic reasons in his desire to be more than visible only towards Germans. And he wants to be popular just like any other superheros secretly do.

As they share the same body, when JHAD is there Hasan isn't and when Hasan is there JHAD disappears. At the moment we can only imagine and speculate on how the particular body that hosts both Hasan and JHAD will be transformed in this process and how two embodied characters will affect each other, what kind of traces their future adventures will leave for each other. This is a brief textual introduction for the curious as among many things mentioned above JHAD loves a prologue too.

Övül Durmuşoğlu
22/04/2015

                                          Jhad, 140 x 240cm, Oil and Acryl on Canvas, 2015


 The Empowering Costume, Polyester, Collaborated with SADAK, 2015



                                                                      The Empowering Book, 2015


 Coat of Arms of Nicosia / Mural Painting / 2013


These series of paintings come from some of the idioms found within Turkish Cypriot dialect. Their aim is to contradict the “elite” accent and dialect of the Turkish language, of the “Motherland” (Turkey) with its invective attitude. To my mind, these idioms rebel against Turkish dominance and occupation on the island of Cyprus. By reclaiming these words and keeping them core to the development of my practice, I turn them into artworks that simply reflect my own visual memories. 


 Idiom I / 50x40cm / 2011


 Idiom II  / 100x80cm / 2011  
                   

                                                   

                                                                                                                       Idiom III / 2011

   Untitled / Mural Painting / 2011

    

                                                   Untitled / Mural Painting / 2011

                                                                                                                 Untitled / 120x90cm / Signboard / 2011
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                       Offering to the Son / Mural Painting / 2010
                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                Untitled / r=45cm / Signboard / 2009

                                                                                                   The Annunciation to Grandfather / 300x180com / 2009

                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                  Untitled / r=45cm / Signboard / 2009