In her series ‘Second Nature’, Işık Kaya explores artefacts of the digital age that have become a part of the Southern California landscape. Since the city's streets are enormous and the houses typically low built, there was an increased need for cellular base stations to be constructed as towers to provide telecommunication services. This infrastructure collides with American suburban ideals of living close to domesticated nature and lower private property values.
In 1992, Larson Camouflage, a company known for its work with the Disney theme parks, manufactured the first disguised cell tower, a business practice that has since spread across the United States. These bizarre structures seem to be a metaphor for how the idea of utility determines the neoliberal relationship with nature.
Işık Kaya is a lens-based media artist whose practice explores how humans shape the contemporary landscape. She focuses on traces of economic infrastructure to examine politics in built environments and how humans’ dominance of nature finds its manifestation in everyday architecture. By framing her subjects exclusively at night, she aims to accentuate the artificial and uncanny qualities of urban environments.
Kaya’s work has been presented in group exhibitions at Centre Européen d'Actions Artistiques Contemporaines (CEAAC), France (2021); Die Digitale Dusseldorf, Germany (2020); Royal Geographic Society, UK (2020); Galerie de L’Escale, France (2020); Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA), South Korea (2020); San Diego Art Institute – ICA San Diego, US (2020) and Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany (2019). Her awards include the David Antin Prize (2021) and first prize in the Gomma Photography Grant (2020). Kaya graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University in 2014 with a BA in Photography and Video and from University of California San Diego in 2021 with an MFA in Visual Arts.
Vantage Point Sharjah 9 (VPS9) is the ninth iteration of Sharjah Art Foundation's annual initiative dedicated to the medium of photography. The exhibition is on view from 18 September through 18 December at the Foundation's off-site venue Al Hamriyah Studios.
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