Işık Kaya & Thomas Georg Blank: Crude Aesthetics

HMKV Video of the Month

Işık Kaya & Thomas Georg Blank: "Crude Aesthetics", video still, 2021


01–30 September 2021

No other nation consumes as much oil as the United States, which accounts for more than 20% of global consumption annually. The hunger for this resource has defined the nation’s politics for decades and the efforts to secure its flow are inscribed in the landscape. In Los Angeles and its vicinity, home to the country’s largest urban oil field and refineries, America is being transformed into a bizarre engine, the pacemaker of the passing age of petroleum. (Işık Kaya)

Işık Kaya is a lens-based media artist whose practice explores the ways in which humans shape the contemporary landscape. She focuses on traces of economic infrastructures to examine politics in built environments and how man’s dominance over nature finds its manifestation in everyday architecture. In her work, she erases the physical distance in between existing structures and creates dense compilations of industrial fragments to construct new landscapes that look both alien and familiar at the same time. By framing her subjects exclusively at night, she aims to accentuate these artificial and uncanny qualities of urban environments.


Işık Kaya, *1990 in Turkey, holds an MFA degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and a BA degree in Photography & Videography from Istanbul Bilgi University, where she studied with a full scholarship. She has participated in exhibitions at Die Digitale Dusseldorf (DE), Kunsthalle Darmstadt (DE), Royal Geographic Society (UK), CEAAC (FR), Galerie de L’Escale (FR), CICA Museum (KR), and San Diego Art Institute – ICA San Diego (US) among others. http://isikkaya.com

Thomas Georg Blank, *1990 in Germany, was first trained in cultural and media education focusing on photography before studying art in Karlsruhe and Mexico City. Moving between research and speculative interpretations, Blank explores how spatial and habitual representations of individual and collective imagination affect the world we’re living in and vice versa. By creating multidirectional, spatial narratives he offers spectators a space for reconfiguration and change of perspective. He currently lives in Darmstadt and Los Angeles and has had several exhibitions in galleries and museums, including Hek Basel, Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Kunstverein Pforzheim, Blue Star Contemporary and C/O Berlin. His works have been awarded many times and he has been a scholar of DAAD as a research fellow at UC San Diego’s Center for Human Imagination. https://www.thomasgeorgblank.de/

01–30 September 2021

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents in monthly rotation current video works by international artists – selected by Inke Arns.

Işık Kaya & Thomas Georg Blank

Crude Aesthetics

Video, 2021, 10:15 min