The Stones Talk consists of 71 objects that are the reconstructions of archaeological artefacts. The archaeological artefacts selected for the exhibition were discovered at various excavation sites in Turkey. Each was subjected to a different classification system and deemed unworthy of exhibition. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey classifies such pieces as “study pieces”. Study pieces are deemed not to provide an idea about the whole they might have been part of, or considered deficient, formless or insignificant. They are often either kept in museum storages, or forwarded to the relevant departments of universities for scientific research.
For this exhibition, Aslı Çavuşoğlu produced copies of a selection of 71 study pieces. While producing the copies, she used original materials such as wood, bronze, glass, iron, mosaic or ceramic. The artist then completed these pieces into new “wholes”, reconstructing them with a diverse range of materials including ceramic, rubber, epoxy, plexiglas, felt, volcanic rock, leather, and foam.
Çavuşoğlu designed pedestals, using high-density foam, wood, and rubber. The pieces in the exhibition are numbered from 1 to 71. This random numbering, however, does not refer to any thematic, chronological or geographical classification. The exhibition explores the potential of forming narratives with archaeological and historical information and telling polyphonic stories through objects.
What makes Çavuşoğlu’s project so impactful is its ability to also comment with humour on the actions of those in power today who are attempting to revamp valuable real estate in Turkey, including its heritage sites, through questionable restoration projects that strive to appeal to global financial interests. The project seems to suggest that those in dominance always write and rewrite history, altering her artefacts along the way. Unfortunately, these ventures sometimes eclipse our fragile relationship with the past.
Aslı Çavuşoğlu’nun bu sergide malzemeler ve objeler dünyasına ilgisinde, başa dönerek söylersek Siddhartha’cı bir yol alma var; bilmediğine açılma, başka bir duruma, harekete olan merak.
Arter’in yeni binasının açılış programında yer alan Saat Kaç? sergisi, Emre Baykal & Eda Berkmen küratörlüğünde 34 sanatçının 44 yapıtını bir araya getiriyor. Sergideki eserlerden biri de Aslı Çavuşoğlu’nun 71 parçadan oluşan “Taşlar Konuşuyor”u. Tarih yazımının seçiciliğine odaklanan eser hakkında merak ettiklerimizi Aslı Çavuşoğlu’na sorduk.