We inhabit a visually compromised world, navigating an image glut around us. The two artists have used this chaotic resource to create virtual photo collages with new visions of our world. The artworks present an obvious representation of our world in their steampunk and cyberpunk realities. In both artists’ works, it is possible to see symbolic elements and different compositions dealing with images of power, energetic bodies, and interpersonal relations. The collection consists of 22 intriguing pieces of digital photomontages.
Oğuz Meriç is a professional photographer, whose works feature a series playing with long exposure photography and digital photomontage in a Cyberpunk style. Using images he captures himself, it is possible to catch glimpses of Poblenou in Barcelona, or of old power plants and historical monuments in Istanbul amongst the fantastical landscapes and portraits. In addition, he has created a special series of neon-contoured bodies that he’s able to delight his viewers with, through the subtle details of each composition.
Inspired by the world around her, Linda Lewis uses a post-modern mash-up of Victorian era fashion and machinery for artistic effect, in order to imbue her works with the humour and spectacle that makes up the Steampunk world. A social critique of the culture is ever-present in her creations, touching upon war, mental health, ecology, and feminism.
The exhibition is available for viewing from January 16th 2020 until March 14th 2020.
Ex Machina - Cyberpunk And Steampunk Gallery
Gallery Ex Machina is an art space in the Gothic neighbourhood of Barcelona, providing a platform for showcasing Cyberpunk and Steampunk oriented works. The gallery space intends to merge the old with the new, and the traditional with the technological in its remodelled 15th century architecture, as well as in its selection of artworks. Since its inception, the goal of the gallery has been to promote and foster artistic viewpoints that express themselves through their contemporary characters and technological influences.
Behind the scenes
Going back to the origin of the gallery, Damla Toker, the director of Gallery Ex Machina, decided to come to Barcelona to open an art gallery with a unique concept. “Technology touches every aspect of our lives, so much so that it is pretty inconceivable to go about our daily life without its interception in some way. So, I thought “What better way to explore the extent of this phenomenon than with art?” And that is how our gallery came to be.” However, the choice to focus on Steampunk and Cyberpunk styles was a coincidence, she explains. "I already knew that I wanted to make a technology-themed gallery. And when I found such a unique gallery space with impressive historical and futuristic elements in its architecture, the first thing that sprang to my mind was Steampunk and Cyberpunk.”
Simply put, these two styles both deal with the same subject from different viewpoints: the future technologies that have not yet (or ever) arrived. The difference is that Steampunk projects a future from the long past, steam-powered Victorian era, and Cyberpunk creates a future filled with supercomputers and cybernetic enhancements.
The result is a thought-provoking exploration in art about the intriguing, inevitable, and inextricably complex relationship between humans and technology.
By Camile Duhart