May 30, 2016

I didn’t think I would be this impressed with Darzana, on show at the Turkish Pavilion. As I mentioned before, I had found the conceptual background and the mental references quite convincing, assessing the selection process as an outsider. Still when I came across the “baştarda” composed of more than 500 pieces from different ships and periods, surrounded by the dimness of the exhibition hall, its walls covered with the patina of so many years, I totally got the goose bumps. I may be taking sides but I really think it has a a very important place in all the country pavilions I have seen so far in Arsenale. Feride Çiçekoglu, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu, Ertuğ Uçar and all the others who have put in an effort one way or the other have to be congratulated wholeheartedly.

There is also a book for Darzana. Bülent Erkmen with his mastery has turned the texts of Namık Erkal and Vera Constantini and the incredible photos of Cemal Emden, which can be hang on any wall on their own, into a highly qualified and a perpetual book.

Probably one of the reasons I  like this project is the competent mediation it presents while positioning itself with the general theme. Now I think we are so over the ages where direct messages can be delivered head on. The spotless and sincere cries of the ’68 and the ‘La Prezensa del Passato’ of the ‘80s were so genuine. The world was a different place then. Now making holes on the thick walls of the bienale pavillion trying to draw attention to the refugee crises is far from convinving, quite naive and hardly believable. I will go to Giardini soon. I can’t wait to see the German Pavillion…

Gonca and I, we go around separately. Our paces are different, she is faster. I can get stuck somewhere for hours sometimes. We meet up to grab something to drink. While queuing for a table, we run into Lousia Hutton; little later Matthias Sauerbruch joins the conversation in haste. We chat about the Budapest Museum of Ethnography Competition gloomily…

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