Hera Büyüktaşcıyan's Reveries of an Underground Forest (2019) is now part of the collection of Tate, London.
In her multidisciplinary practice, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan uses the notion of absence and invisibility, in order to anchor memory through unseen and forgotten aspects of time & space and architectural memory in reference to ruptures in socio-political histories. Through her sculptures, site specific interventions, drawings and films, Büyüktaşcıyan dives into terrestrial imagination by unearthing patterns of selected narratives and timelines that unfold the material memory of unstable spaces.
Büyüktaşcıyan digs into the depths of terrestrial imagination by unearthing different historical narratives and timelines. Referencing the forests and riverbeds of the indigenous peoples that were destroyed and forgotten in the construction of the city of Toronto in the early 1800s, Reveries of an Underground Forest, which was first shown at the 2019 Toronto Biennale, alludes to the lumber used by migrant workers to support urban infrastructure. Like amputated tree stumps, these foundations stand in columns of rolled (and unraveling) industrial carpets, parts of their epigraphic surfaces relaying intricate cartographies of land and urbanity. Their designs are composed from Indigenous and Punjabi (Phulkari) textile patterns and aerial city maps, accentuating the artist’s interest in other contested lands across time. The pillars are symbolic witnesses of the past and the present resurfacing from the ground; their imprinted forms occupy a space before language – part musical annotation, coded symbols of collective loss, part unbounded geographies situated between place and displacement.