Hale Tenger is part of the 16th Istanbul Biennial with a new installation in a historic site in Büyükada, the largest of the so-called Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara.
Appearance is a mixed-media and sound installation. The work draws inspiration from the locality and from the botanical technique known as girdling used both to enhance growth of fruits in trees or in forestry to kill trees. The installation includes a sound element, in Turkish and English, in which a poem by Tenger, about agency, power, self-knowledge and greed, is audible. Flattened obsidian stones – a volcanic material prehistorically used as mirrors – point reflectively upwards in the immersive environment. The artist wishes to set up a space for introspection and regeneration in this historically loaded site. ‘Can you be by not doing?’ she asks.