Sculptural group Sultan Mustafa Mosque (Sultan Mustafa Camii), (2017) foregrounds shifting relationships between gender, architecture, and craft in the way it brings together the architectural vocabulary of Turkish mosques and the Muslim prayer caps known as Takke hats. Each of the sculptures employs the forms of the dome and a tapered minaret, which appear as pared-down variations on imposing classical Ottoman architectural forms, yet they are also delicate, made from the type of lacework associated with Takke hats. Resting upon simple plywood plinths, these airy and delicate crocheted shapes create a tension between an implied association with women’s labour and a form of monumental architecture associated with patriarchal power structures and public space. In this collision of gender associations, the humour of the simplified phallic forms of the
minarets as a product of feminine handiwork is certainly not incidental. The playful rhyming of architecture and headwear, of the public monument and intimate scale of the body, points to broader questions about the relation between these realms, while also putting pressure on any assumed gendered positions for either. From a distance the sculptures’ shapes appear repetitive, but upon closer inspection, the delicate open patterns that constitute their forms have a variety of subtle differences that suggest potentially infinite permutations of their minimalist geometry. In their play of both form and associations, Çiftçi’s sculptures suggest a sense of destabilisation and flux that counters the seeming stability of their streamlined architectural forms.