In March 2009 I was an artist in residence at the Babayan Culture House in Ibrahimpasa, Cappadocia. While there, I produced a number of installations with found objects in ruined cave houses around the village. Included in some of these were large-scale photographs and photographic projections.
One of the ruined cave houses next to BCH was owned by a man named Shah Dede who had made a pilgrimage to Mecca during the last years of his life. As a result, he was allowed to paint his house blue; bits and pieces of this blue paint remain on the ruined walls of the building. After he died, the family simply abandoned the house, leaving all the material relics behind in what now seems a small ruined museum to this man’s life. Using various objects collected from these remainders of Shah Dede’s life, I installed several still lives in and around his house.
The piece above was created entirely out of found objects: a wooden box from Shah Dede’s, a skull from the valley, bones from the house’s sod roof, stones from a corner of the room itself, apricot tree branches, cotton headscarf material, golden twigs, and two banners made from garbage plastic sheets painted with a cruciform design in red and pink inspired by rock-cut church frescoes. After having been installed for several days, it was set alight in a performance in honour of Nevruz, the Turkish Spring Equinox.
See a video of the Nevruz Burning performance here.
See a video of the complete set of Ibrahimpasa Memento Mori installations here.
Read the catalogue here.