“Bâb-ı Âli” which means Exalted Gate, keeps its alluring stand at all times in the form of a metaphor that symbolizes the entrance gate of the mankind’s spiritual homeland from the archaic era to date.
The “gate” that is opened to an unknown situation and closed to another, stands before us as a means of transformation taking us to a novel awareness where we can never become the way we used to be. The Egyptians described twilight of dawn as the door between two worlds; an intermediate realm allowing transition from life to death and from the known to the unknown.
In Monotheistic (Abrahamic) religions however, Bâb-ı Âli (Exalted Gate) has built itself over the transcendence and realness symbolism of each religion. In Judaism, the ark of the covenant in which Torah was hidden; in the Old Testament therefore the in Christianity “Golden Gate” that is opened to Jerusalem (Ar. Bâb a-Zahabi) and ”Bâb-ı Âli” (Exalted Gate) that is opened to the city of knowledge in Islam.
“Bâb” or gate is also significant since it symbolizes the status of the art and the artist. Art is performed as a compulsion of the existence. In other words, the artist is the person who creates art since her existence does not allow otherwise. This symbolizes a gate that carries the artist to the truth of existence in which she can never become as she used to be. This situation of being in-between the new and the former has allowed flow of information from the twilight world of the artist to the objective world. The abstract has met the concrete and the dream has become true.
You can see the experimental material usage that strengthens the symbolic language in Işıl Gönen’s paintings in this exhibition. The artist will bring us together with the different series of Bab-ı Ali (Exalted Gate) journey in inner rooms of gallery which is a cistern with a history of centuries.