(…) In his video piece Rotor, Kerem Ozan Bayraktar brings together several narratives in which particles migrate from one location to the other. Dust itself is accumulated through cycles of growth, decay, conflict, and repose. In the video, he lists the constituents of dust as: “fragments of migrating corpses, bits of my lover, ghost in the machine.” Collisions form clouds of dust around planets, resin dust creates images on metal plates, dust travels from the Bodélé Depression to the Amazon, providing nutrition for entire forests. By bringing forward these micro and macro journeys of dust and happenings at sites of varying sizes (a box, a home, a desert, a galaxy) Bayraktar also highlights the non-hierarchical qualities of dust: a space in which humans and non-humans merge into one another, dissolving boundaries, occupying multiple temporalities at once, building a continuous stream.
– Gülşah Mursaloğlu, “A Continuous Stream”, in Sandstorm, ed. Sarah Maske, 2020, Istanbul
“(…) Kerem Ozan Bayraktar emphasizes the concept of “formation.” He reminds us how the collision of different particles, from different sources, can lead to the formation of a “new whole.” He looks at the “suspended nature” of these formations to show how humans, objects, images, animals, plants, the body itself, and the planets all appear as the result of an ongoing process of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Bayraktar depicts the “dual nature” of environmental challenges; on the one hand, the product of a “formation process” and, on the other hand, the cause of another.”
– Hossein Madani, “Ecological Diseases and Symptoms”, in Sandstorm, ed. Sarah Maske, 2020, Istanbul
“How Does a Vacuum Cleaner Work?”, 2020, ink drawing on wall, 400 x 200 cm, Depo, Istanbul.
Research: Jorelaque Karriqi
Graphic design: Burak Tigli
Application: Tayfun Akyıldız
Sandstorm – And Then There was Dust
17 September – 1 November 2020
Curator: Sarah Maske
Concept: Sarah Maske and Ayat Najafi
The interdisciplinary art project Sandstorm – And Then There was Dust examines the origins and consequences of sandstorms with a mixture of artistic and scientific means and thus aims at reaching, sensitizing, and activating the civilian population living in the affected regions of Mesopotamia and its offshoots (today’s Turkey, Iraq and Iran). It focuses on the ecological phenomenon of sandstorms and the related socio-political circumstances.
The created ecological and political artworks result from a collaboration with the local inhabitants, activists, scientists and other related actors, in order to create sustainable impacts. The works examine roots and consequences of sandstorms and visualize them in the form of artworks on sites as well as in the exhibition shedding light on its historical, material, and conceptual formations.
The artists’ works try to inspire communities to use resources within their own contexts and practices and support the development of artistic and creative initiatives that reinforce both traditional and alternative knowledge and methods. Additionally, they aim at finding ways to prevent more and more desertification not only by fostering knowledge about this phenomenon, but also by presenting possible scenarios to prevent more damage. The exhibition presents ways to “stay with the trouble” (Haraway, 2016) and make the affected regions habitable for their citizens.
Both humans and non-human actors which are portrayed in the exhibition are affected by aforementioned environmental realities and this project provides a place for reflection through making these historical narratives visible.
A publication with contributions by eight writers from different fields and a video tour with performances by the artists will accompany the exhibition. Both will be available on Depo’s website shortly after the opening.
With kind contributions by: