Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Skin Deep, 2021
Sculpture, carpet and wood
Installation view at Protocinema, Istanbul, 2021
Photo by Zeynep Fırat
Protocinema is happy to announce Once Upon a Time Inconceivable, a group exhibition on the occasion of its ten year milestone, cross-examining the pair of perception and realization; and their impairments in relation to time and space, bringing together works by Abbas Akhavan, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Banu Cennetoğlu, Ceal Floyer, Gülşah Mursaloğlu, Zeyno Pekünlü, Paul Pfeiffer, Amie Siegel, and Mario García Torres. The exhibition and public programs will take place at and with the kind collaboration of Beykoz Kundura, a cultural hub formerly a factory site of various mass-manufactures from the Ottoman Era to the present day, situated on the north-east coast of the Bosphorus, Istanbul.
Coming at a crucial moment of crisis and loss that urges us to rethink all establishments and reevaluate personal, local and global relationships, Once Upon a Time Inconceivable invites us to reassess curious workings of perception and realization. Through the artworks bending perceived temporalities and conceived spatialities, this exhibition sheds light on the process of realization itself. Focusing on the dynamics of perception and realization matters as it turns our unevenly shared experience of the past into fuel for further changes in understanding that may (or may not) translate into changes in action.
Hera Büyüktaşcıyan’s new sculpture contends a different manoeuvre of unearthing and recalls the marble in a disparate aesthetic. Skindeep (2021) resonates with the site of Beykoz Kundura, once a factory that mass-produced paper and leather and is currently a film sets. Taking the building’s ongoing relation to skin and façade (or façade as skin and vice versa) which as being surfaces covering but also recollecting things and in any case directs our perception, Büyüktaşçıyan invests in the morphology of surfaces that bears traces of time through material poetics. Connecting her question on the skin to her ongoing research around and inspiration by the Byzantine heritage and the contemporary local politics around it which are once again manifesting through converted buildings, covered mosaics, and hidden histories, Büyüktaşçıyan takes carpet as object of inquiry to activate the space.
As the authorities strategically deployed carpets in recently re-purposed Hagia Sophia to cover the Christian imageries and emblematic marble grounds with thousands of square meters of carpeting, Skindeep uses the carpets to recall the memories of the marbles. The relative of skin, shield and cover, the carpets are put into a motion with the help of a structure to eventually create a melting façade, the decor of covering and hiding which is unavoidably haunted by what is covered or hidden.