Reflex exhibition features the digital artworks of 11 artists selected by its curator İpek Yeğinsü around the "Reflex" theme. Ayşe Ören participates with her interactive sculpture,Lale Delibaş with a stop-motion animation,Özlem Paker with an interactif web game, kinetic sculpture and digital collage, İpek Yeğinsü with her photography and digital works, Alexandre Dujardin, Balca Arda, Derin Çiler, Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay, Sonia Klajnberg, Genco and Jeff Harvey with digital paintings.
May 21- July 5, 2014
İpek Yeğinsü, the curator of the exhibition:" Reflex is the general term defining involuntary responses produced in the face of an outside stimulus. This system facilitating survival through swift action, takes its name from the Latin word “reflectere”, meaning “to reflect, to send back”. Some reflexes are controlled by the spinal cord and are inborn (coughing, blinking, etc.). Others are acquired later and are controlled by the brain; they are defined as “conditioned reflex” (riding a bicycle, swimming, etc.).Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov whose name is identified with conditioned reflex is well known for the experiments he conducted with dogs. However, he also accomplished another less well known and very important research. He explained the timing of the responses to stress and pain with four different temperaments: phlegmatic (strong, equilibrated and quiet), choleric (strong and impatient), sanguine (strong, equilibrated and lively), and melancholic (weak). According to Pavlov these four temperaments react similarly to stimuli; however, at what stage the individuals experience “transmarginal inhibition (TMI)”, in other words, when their bodies shut down as a response to extreme stress and pain, is different among the temperaments. Melancholic types arrive to the TMI stage earlier than the others and their nervous system is evidently different from theirs. The research that Carl Jung took over also concluded that introverted individuals reach the TMI stage much earlier with respect to others.
If our reflexes are so deeply correlated with conditioning and even with our temperament, how shall we evaluate our decisions? Scientific studies on decision mechanisms define this process as a problem solving act with a satisfactory solution as its outcome. According to the advocants of rational choice theory, the basic principle is to maximize the reward and to minimize the cost. But other specialists argue that decisions can be rationally, irrationally, or even unconsciously taken. This is due to the fact that the loaded information necessary for us to understand our choices is much more intense than we can manage, and the time dedicated to the decisionmaking process is very limited. Under these conditions, the mind is obliged to decide with a pace that can be considered a reflex, without taking into account the complexity of the issue. In fact, the decision’s quality is negatively correlated with the amount of information its decision making process necessitates. Some scientists define this form of decision making that disregards information as “intuitive”. As a matter of fact, overanalyzing a problem is also considered unhealthy, since it paralyzes or completely disables the decision making process. When family structure, cultural background, education, religious belief, social circles, geographical position and other similar parameters are added into this equation, we may realize how complicated our decision making mechanisms are, and how difficult it is to even understand ourselves.In that case, do our decisions really belong to us? Or are they the result of behavioral patterns being imposed on us from the day we are born?How do unconsciously acquired prejudices affect our choices?
REFLEX is searching for the answers in works by eleven different artists. It brings side by side the situations where our decisions are essentially no more complex than an inborn reflex, with those in which we have to struggle with vital choices for self realization. Wishing that REFLEX generates an occasion for every viewer to reconsider his or her life, choices and decisions.
İpek Yeğinsü talks to Ekav Art TV on The Quest exhibition she curated
About the Artists
Özlem Paker is a multi-disciplinary artist who holds a MFA in multimedia from Parsons' Design & Technology Department and who also worked as a faculty member in Product and Communication Design departments of Parson's in NYC.
Ayşe Ören is an architect, designer and sculptor who studied design and interior architecture at Bilkent University,Ankara.
İpek Yeğinsü is a photographer and contemporary art professional who studied political science, art history and museology in Koç University,İstanbul.
Information about the works of other artists exhibited at the fair is presented in their pages on this site. Please refer to "artist" pages of Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay, Alexandre Dujardin, Sonia Klajnberg,Derin Çiler and Balca Arda on this website.