cura: 1. spiritual charge: care. 2. to restore to health and soundness, to bring about recovery: cure. 3. Root of the word “curator” in Latin; one who is responsible for the care of souls, later, one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit. 4. instrument with two or three strings that is used in folk music. 5. small sparrow. 6. the name of a short story written by Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, also known as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus (A Flower Thrown to the Sea from the Aegean, 1972). 7. “The double sense of cura refers to care for something as concern, absorption in the world, but also care in the sense of devotion” Martin Heidegger

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Contemporary Art Works in Ephesus

Ephesus is a touristic archeological site with the ruins of Graeco-Roman city, which was founded in 1000 B.C. The site is inhabited since 6000 B.C.
While searching of contemporary artworks produced in the region, I realized that two very influential women artists, Gulsun Karamustafa and Hale Tenger, produced site-specific works in Ephesus.

Souvenir/ Gulsun Karamustafa
Installation view, Antique city, Ephesus, 1995
"In 1995, Karamustafa installed a work called "SOUVENIR" at the Temple of Hadrianus in Ephesus. Several years before the scientific excavation of this site got under way in the early twentieht century, an Englishman called J. T. Wood took control of the temple himself and in true colonialist style began excavating it a way that had more to with vandalism and plunderin than with archeology. Karamustafa therefore took a photo-engraving of the Turkish laborers engaged by Wood, enlarged it to life size and then cut out the faces of the laborers to leave only head-shaped holes behind. This panel, which by now looked like something one might find at an amusement park, was then set up directly behind the entrance to the temple where tourists visiting the site used it to take snapshots of each other. By turning a historical document into a tourist parody, Karamustafa was able to tease out the parallels between international tourism and colonialism."
(Barbara Heinrich, My Roses My Reveries, YKY, 2007, p. 70 - 71)

Birth vs. Death/ Hale Tenger
Site-specific installation at Ephesus, Selcuk, 1995
"Tenger had touched upon issues regarding life/death and being/nothingness a year ago in "Birth/ Death" (1995) during "The Imagination of History" exhibition held at Ephesus a year ago; and she had again taken a specific point of reference to delve into the more general antinomy of absence/ presence. By accommodating the ancient sites from Ephesus -therefore a past in full view of the viewer -and the inventory of births and deaths in the district based on records she obtained from Selcuk Registration Directorate -therefore the personal history of past civilizations with the birth/ growth/ death stages of human life and therefore again referring to the concept of transience"
(Ahu Antmen, Stranger WIthin, YKY, 2007,p. 80 - 81)

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