In the work, Holy Stick, Çavuşoğlu re-works a slogan from a different historical moment and position on the political spectrum – Greta Thunberg’s “Our house is on fire” – assembling and burning long strings of Palo Santo that is derived from another tree in the bursera family (bursera graveolens). In the words she engraves on the pieces of wood before burning them – “House/Has/Burned/Bad/Energy/Gone” – the artist underscores the irony of this tree being irresponsibly and rampantly logged across Peru, Colombia and Mexico to meet the international demand for Palo Santo as an agent of purification and cleansing marketed by the wellness industry, based on its shamanic and healing uses across Central and South America.
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View from the exhibition TunState (2022), Barriera, Turin. Photo by Gabriele Abbruzzese.
*Excerpt from the press release by Rattanamol Singh Johal
Holy Stick, 2022. Engravings on Palo Santo. 5×141 cm; 5×142 cm.