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Hera Büyüktaşçıyan

Installation view at SALT ULUS, Ankara, Turkey, 2015

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan constructs a dialogue across time that complements the former’s investigation on Karamanlidika and Armeno-Turkish with a poetic utterance traveling far across eras. Profoundly engaged with the history of Greeks and Armenians in Istanbul, it is not a place of diaspora or exile for Büyüktaşcıyan but the epicenter of cultural and linguistic history of centuries.

The artist travels in time and place between Byzantium, Constantinople, Venice, the Prince Islands, and Istanbul, and further back to a Babylonian cuneiform text of the epic of Atrahasis, also known as the tale of Noah’s Ark. Destroy your house, build up a boat, save life (2014–2015), titled after a quote from the Babylonian text, builds an imaginary boat and a boat of imaginaries that make reference to the fragility yet durability of memory through gestures and symbols. Not unlike Winchester, Büyüktaşcıyan digs out an archaeology of invisible symbols, erstwhile erased from Istanbul’s long history of exiles and persecutions. 

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