“The next work is a series of photographs by Sergen Şehitoğlu entitled Mojave Desert. Here, the artist is using photographic details of Google Earth’s visual data base, in which human settlements and constructions in the famous American desert are visible. The desert possesses all kinds of forms from morphic to amorphous. In the frames and details he has chosen though, clear geometrical figures appear. The forms are the result of human interventions, where people have built houses and fences or roads and irrigation systems. It seems like the only way of man getting along in the entropic complexity of the desert is to mark his existence using rational and simple geometrical systems. Against the fragmental character of the desert, man can only answer with known geometry, a language that everyone has learned already as a child in school.

Şehitoğlu frames the details of his observations in square-formats, and so underlines the meaning of geometry for his series once again. At the same time, the format and formal minimalism opens aesthetic references to Modrian, Malevich and other abstract modern painters, which based their work on rationality. Through the chosen forms and aesthetics, he underlines the coolness and distance that the artist is keeping throughout his work. Like an observer from high above in the sky, Sergen Şehitoğlu keeps track of evidences of Anthropocene via the morphological structure of our planet. He looks for human traces in the desert and analyses them according to their formal visuality.

In the end, he conducts a visual research, in which he investigates the interrelationship between man as a micro-system and nature as macro-system. Indeed, this series is a good example for research-based art, a form of creation, which since the late 1990’s increasingly became popular and important in the field of contemporary art. Mojave Desert reveals a clash of aesthetics, as “coincidentally” made forms like sand textures or soil formations contrast the rational forms of man-made culture.  The desert is a barren place with a rather minimal aesthetic. Still it is full of life and emergence situations, where chance and necessity go hand in hand to establish extraordinary environments and living conditions. In Şehitoğlu’s work, humanity’s longing for order and geometry becomes absurd, as the geometrical dominance is in the face of the overwhelming natural power of the desert just another helpless and fruitless attempt to gain power over nature, and to become the ruler of the world.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Prof.Dr.Marcus Graf   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Art Curator & Writer