Today, even though everything is sinking into “That’s just the way it is” despair, there are still many practices people follow in order to change their lives. Some of these include an agreement with God, and others consist of promises given to one’s self. As the line between the sacred and the profane is blurred, materialistic, self-seeking and egoistic demands become apparent. People or humanity lose its potential gradually and try to hold on to wishes that are impossible to happen/depending on chance. Selfishness, the fact that even dreaming is trapped in formulaic visions, the reciprocal tension between the individual and the society nullify the opportunities of, as Ulus Baker said drawing upon Spinoza, “organizing good encounters.” At this point, one is to wish for something even though one’s hands are tied. All kinds of pressure and suppression surrounding the individual have already shaken every conceivable way to connect to outer world, such as hope, wish, want and demand. Hopelessness abolishes the will to carry on.
Chance for a Miracle, has a premise that hope, wish, want, demand or desire are different names for asking a miracle, large or small, to happen. This hope entails the questions of “What do humans wish for? What do they hope for?” At the nodal points of examining these questions and their potential answers, the conceptual framework is embodied in seven stories revolving around a practice of votive. Stories are complex ones for their causes and effects, written on the irregularities of chance, destiny, hope, intention and fear in human life. Seven stories from different classes, milieus and eras of the society are centered on a votive practice sinking into oblivion although continued to some extent in various churches from İstanbul to San Francisco, Athens to New Mexico. In fact, they narrate the histories of seven votive offerings (Gr. tama, pl. tamata) hung on a votive cabinet.
created by Larissa Araz & Ekin Can Göksoy
“East & West” is a series of photos witnessing a duration of 10 years, comparing the same processes in the eastern and western parts of Turkey. In an attempt to document the nationalist discourse and its effects on human body, nature and geography, Photos from the west (prominently Turkish, infrastructurally more developed and richer) shows the already completed “petrification” of a once docile body of population, as idealized in the march composed for the 10th anniversary of the Republic: “An unprivileged, classless, united mass we are.” On the other hand, photos from east (prominently Kurdish, less developed and poorer) reveals that the long process of petrification of bodies already-proven-to-be-indocile is still going on, though most probably impossible to end. In this series, clear-cut, void of human and homogenized images from the western part of Turkey, and exaggerative and overstated ones from the eastern part create a contrast; and juxtaposition of those contrasting images gives the impression as if they were images documenting the earlier and the later days of the same process.