Commentary by Ali Şimşek

Hercü Merc: What the Unspeakable Shows

“If you focus too much on me, the only person you might miss is you.”

Flying silhouettes... A breeze of black tulle.

The eye-catching geometry of a zebra.

How many people can fit into the soul of an elephant? Let there not be a breath blown upon us from the bush...

Maybe it's the dust on a traveler's hat that's the dream he's looking for.

The "other" space reflected on the walls of the eerie city far away...

While Necmi Gürseler weaves his painting, he first saves the "familiar" from the tutelage of the "familiar". Why should what we know be “familiar”? Flying blue people, breaking eggs, elephants gathering clouds, black-and-white zebras that shock our retinas, fly around in deserted city squares shaken by troubles.

The red tower in the distance, the clean buildings bowing to the sovereignty of geometry.

And... the flying Phoenix... the Simurgh... the flying dark spots of the sky... the birds.

Necmi Gürseler builds spaces that are both wide and narrow. But what remains is desolation with a great gain. The artist also follows the silent traces of a very rich tradition. It is as if he wants us to feel that great legacy spanning centuries in almost every canvas, in the crowded dreams he creates, in the sense of uncanny and magical realism.

The very opposite of the portrait, which completes the crisis modernity with its humanized sanctity, realism, and space that gives way to perspective with its colorful glow, is another aesthetic and sensual regime that is often forgotten.

Hieronymus Bosch opened the door to a completely different world by bringing together the monsters, freaks and fairy tales living in folk culture in the first half of the 16th century with Christian iconography. At the same time, Bosch's strange, ever-transforming, strange world was also eye-catching, demanding wide frames. Bosch was blowing the grotesque, formless, and ugly that already existed in pagan opulence into the dawn of modernity. It was also a Carnival world where almost everything was turned upside down, where all hierarchies were collapsing headlong into the mundane.

Bosch, the great achievement of the Renaissance, was perspective, upending the ideal of beauty that shone in Raphael. He demanded a heretical (heretical) look, disguised as a Christian asceticism. It was, of course, an early modernity, and it was ignored for many centuries. But it suddenly spawned the crisis-ridden modernism of the dawn of the tumultuous twentieth century. He left a wealth of wealth flowing from Giorgio de Chirico to Max Ernst and today.

Necmi Gürseler also breathes in this big family; we feel it. He paints the carnival world with every brush stroke; There is the breath of this great heritage in every flying figure... The flailing bodies are in flight, turning red, in the arms of an acrobat in a blue hat. With its "uncanny" buildings in the distance and their towers melting into the blue of the sky... Quiet squares, architecture that turns peace into sudden anxiety, vastness and silent tension that attracts the eye.

Carnival and grotesque. Two inseparable friends. The poetry of that great anomie and exuberance where almost everything is suspended. But on the one hand, it is a permitted state of gas intake. The gluttonous mouth of the grotesque, his swollen belly and his laughter filling the square. The great roar coming from the shamans, Pan and Dionysus. Isn't Dionysos's other name Bromios: The Rumbling One?

Almost everything is ready to mix with each other in Necmi Gürseler's space. The “Shrub Spirit” suddenly appears on the floors protected by the geometry of the tile. From the huge body of the elephant, embroidery emerges from the city of human or humuculus dwarves.

Necmi Gürseler painting does not depend only on contours. If we melt the space and the figures slightly, the hybridized relations of colors remain.

The “calmness” that the emptiness of the space calls for is unsettling at the same time. It is a violent stillness, the space in which figures move, lengthen and shorten. And... Animals. Animals always seep into the wide canvas of the artist.

What is an animal's gaze? It is a gaze of the Other that does not need language. In the words of Giorgio Agamben, “Those who think that language exists to communicate are mistaken. Language was not invented for communication. Language exists for something else, perhaps more important, but also more dangerous. In fact, the biggest barrier to communication is language. Animals know this very well. Sometimes they see us falling prey to language and watch us with a strange sense of pity. They could have entered the language adventure if they wanted to, but they chose not to because they knew what they could lose.”

The animals that have infiltrated Necmi Gürseler's crowded carnival roam the free space of the "unspeakable", making us uneasy.

Who is the minister? Who is being watched? Is there any possibility of “voicing” the unspoken?

The questions are left for us...

Ali Şimşek