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Hera Büyüktaşcıyan. Photo by Berk Kır


Art21 – In your sculpture you’re thinking about histories embedded in architecture, things layered atop one another, is that right?

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan – Yes, especially ideas of surface and the palimpsest are things that I’m often looking into. The palimpsest is a recollection of timelines that overlap with one another and create a hybrid existence. This hybrid nature forms itself, sometimes through erasing one another’s traces and re-writing over the remnants and sometimes by becoming a part of someone else’s existence. Almost like a living organism. 

This is the way I read history, personal and social narratives that have a cyclic movement as a pattern of time that repeats itself. This also reflects upon how I perceive spaces – a way of seeing that gradually settled within me while growing up in a city like Istanbul, which is full of spolia architecture. You see different timelines colliding in the same form and creating a new entity.

Going back to the idea of surface; terrestrial memory and reading various timelines through decomposing the strata is also something that fascinates me. When different aspects come together they create a sense of tension, like a surface tension. But also a coexistence, that manifests dualities where diverse elements intersect and remain in sync or in contrast to one another. Overlapping layers that anchor with each other create a feeling of embodying something new through the hybrid nature of coexistence.

Architecture is a body in itself. Like a crust, a shell that surrounds us on which we leave our traces. Our own recollections and woven histories breathe within spaces built around us. It is an agent that can enable one to deconstruct history not only physically, but mentally, through the tidal movements of our mind. And then reconstruct it by re-assembling all these different elements of time. 

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