Collective memory rediscovers events

Rumeli Han’s third floor is currently home to a new exhibition by an artist initiative. The works of 10 artists, Berkay Tuncay, Merve Şendil, Hera Büyüktaşçiyan, Elçin Ekinci, Yeni Anıt, Suat Öğüt, Fatma Çiftçi, İrem Tok, Gökçe Süvari and Umut Deniz Kırca aim to discover the potential of art’s power over the concepts of rationality, belonging, temporality, and absolute and personal reality. As the artists tell their fictionalized stories related to those concepts “In the Irregular Topography of the Mind,” they visualize historical material adding their personal interpretations. The works reveal the details of their own histories about visualization. “We tried to do something of our own and we tried to focus on concepts,” said Berkay Tuncay, creator of a work targeting the Internet and images. “There are many images on the Internet and some of them are sent as emails with the title ‘the most interesting photographs ever.’ However, sometimes we cannot see those photos.” Tuncay tries to tell the audience that even the Internet, which we use constantly, is not enough. “However, even though we do not see some of the images, we know them by heart. Because visual memory is aroused over time and creates a common memory,” said Tuncay about his work. Tuncay’s work may seem like a half-empty, rolled-up paper, but what he tries to emphasize is the images that we do not see, but we know when we hear the subject. “For example, the collapse of the Berlin Wall may suddenly appear in our minds as an image.” Yeni Anıt, on the other hand, aims to showcase collective memory. He aims to reflect urban legends with a futuristic style. He tells us the story of manipulated truth with his work “One and Three Plates.” He tries to discover the story behind the New Colossus. In doing so he refers to his own alias, “Yeni Anıt” (New Colossus). The story is manipulated by the artist as he is also manipulating his name. Hera Büyüktaşçıyan pursues the long and bitter story of an old newspaper based in Istanbul. Her work, titled “Hidden Things,” aims to discover why the newspaper Apoyevmatini closed. “This newspaper is very old and has a history. The owner makes the newspaper on his own. It is as old as daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey. The newspaper is close to ending its publishing life. This was such a bitter thing,” said Büyüktaşçıyan. Her work aims to give an open call to create a platform to build up a common language and underline the importance of the power of the collective. Konstantinos Kavafis’ poem “On Board Ship” refers to the paper ships that he is making. This also tells a story of leaving and staying at the same time. Even though the newspaper is in danger of closing in its 87th year because of financial problems, the owner does not want leave it. The ship is the symbolic and ironic presentation of the story. Gökçe Süvari’s work “Elephant Incident” also emphasizes an old story. Süvari’s large canvas depicts an elephant with tanks. First, the audience might be reminded of a “wild” elephant, which is ready to damage the surroundings, and may also associate it with George Orwell’s legendary short story “The Elephant.” “However, this is an incident which happened in the past. An elephant escaped from the zoo and tanks came to save it,” she said. While Suat Öğüt’s video and voice installation work depicts the relationship between police and society and violence or interference of the police in society, Elçin Ekinci’s work “Kyklos Galaktikos” focuses on memory in a more humoristic way with her alien-like creature sculptures. Fatma Çiftçi rediscovers old Turkish movies and cliché words in them. Merve Şendil’s knit work “I just want to say hell” tells about her childhood imaginary friend Osman, while Deniz Kırca, a writer, contributes to this project with bizarre cases that he wrote about Melekkapanı Street in Istanbul. İrem Tok performs with her storybook “Clouds and Ghost Objects.”

Hatice Utkan

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