Vasiyetimdir: Ali Emir Tapan

-The remaining unfinished work should be transported to the Mountains of Caucasia and left in the deep forestry for the Wolves, left to decay among the flora. If any pieces happen to be harmful to the eco-system, they should be re-cycled/re-adopted as daily objects and distributed to the parts of the world where they are needed. The executor of the will may choose one unfinished piece and keep it as is.

-If the executor of my will is not quite able to define which of the works are unfinished, this should be defined by means of a Ouija board, water divination, or coin-toss. Each system of divination should be executed by an expert in the field.

-The finished work in my possession should be sold at a private auction. The full revenue from this auction should be donated to a foundation occupied with the preservation of the habitat of Lemurs. If Lemurs are an extinct species at the time of my death, the revenue should be equally distributed between foundations occupied with the preservation of Tigers and Wolves.

-My performance pieces, unless stated otherwise during my lifetime, belong to everyone. Anyone can re-perform them, if they feel the work is relevant to their time and/or situation.

-There should be no attempt made at preserving the pieces I intended to be ephemeral, materially transformative, decaying, chemically continuous. I have always found such efforts against transformation and transcendence a bit grotesque and rude. Once the pieces materially cease to exist, they belong to memory and imagination. For this, proper visual documentation, at the most, should suffice.

-Please give my physical remains to fire. Don’t feel sorrow or grief, I have only shed my body. Please create a data archive of your false and real memories of me. This data should be uploaded to the minds of sentient beings of artificial intelligence and afterwards erased forever. These beings may remember but never speak of me. My ashes may be scattered either to the Atlantic Ocean in the stormy season, on a day of high storms with winds blowing seawards, or buried under many peonies in a garden that should be planted post-mortem. If the ashes are scattered to the ocean, please transplant the data archive to nine Octopuses and set them free into the oceans. They will build their own gardens. If the ashes are buried under peonies, my family and friends may choose to take care of these plants or let them grow wild. Peonies are seasonal, so please remember to plant some suitable fruit-bearing trees and evergreens, so the place does not become unattractive in the winter. The sentient beings of artificial intelligence should be crows and magpies in this case. Please let them roam the garden. Don’t forget to plant a walnut tree for the crows (crows love walnuts) and leave offerings of shiny objects for the magpies.

Ali Emir Tapan is an artist based in Istanbul. After studying intellectual history and photography at the Connecticut College, he moved to New York where he managed Haluk Akakçe’s studio. Tapan has pursued his research in systems of esotericism and self-destruction patterns between Paris and London where he did an MFA at Central Saint Martins. His recent work investigates self-defeating utopias, urban fauna as totemic representations, crowd dynamics, and the conjunction of private-public and spiritual spaces.

Vasiyetimdir* is a publication project that aims to explore how art works will subsist over long periods of time. Art works live in artist studios, private collections, museums, storage spaces, or simply in memories. But how far do the artists want to control what happens to their works when they are no longer? How do they want to exert their control? We directed these questions to the artists we are in dialogue with. We are accumulating their answers through

*Vasiyetimdir is a Turkish phrase that can roughly be translated into English as “It is my will that…” The phrase holds a tint of the melodramatic, mixed with a sentimental flair.

Vasiyetimdir was conceived by Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Özge Ersoy, and Merve Ünsal.