Nevruz Burning: While in Ibrahimpasa, Cappadocia, Turkey (a very traditional closed village), as an artist in residence at the Babayan Culture House, I created several mixed media installations and performances in ruined and abandoned cave houses formerly the homes of a large Greek Orthodox community. The piece documented above was created entirely out of found objects: a wooden box from a villager’s abandoned home, a skull from the valley, bones from the house’s sod roof, stones from a corner of the room itself, apricot tree branches (one of the few cash crops in this area), cotton headscarf material, golden twigs, and two banners made from garbage plastic sheets painted with a cruciform design in red and pink inspired by Cappadocian rock-cut church frescoes. After having been installed for several days, it was set alight in a public performance in honour of Nevruz, the Turkish Spring Equinox, in March 2009. Nevruz Burning is a contemporary reflection on the ancient eastern practice of using bonfires as part of a purification ritual to celebrate the New Year.
This work, as well as all the others I created in similar settings, was open to the townspeople, almost all of whom had never been exposed to contemporary art or, indeed, to westerners. Performance participants L. MacLean and Yunus Wegner. Photography L MacLean. Video created 2010 by L. MacLean. 3 minutes, 46 seconds. Soundtrack Loreena McKennitt, remixed by L. MacLean. Part of my Memento Mori series of installations.
Beyond the Flesh Dress, the photograph below, is one from a series of 18 images documenting my own photographs projected onto a tableau of found objects I created in another ruined cave house space. It was selected for Photohaus Gallery’s juried exhibition of night photography The Dark of the Night held in Vancouver, Canada in March 2013.
Read the catalogue here.