It takes time to fully grasp this: by the time we reach the age of 6, maybe 20, our factory settings are completed. Afterwards, there are additions and then, if you are lucky, thinning down, reduction… And finally, we shed everything that is portable, even the pulp and we return to where we came from, wherever that is… So it is useful not to cling on.
One of my role models when my factory settings were being fine-tuned was Uncle Recai—actually, he was my mother’s uncle. The whole house was filled with books; there is information on any subject and the ability to deliver this in a most festive, natural, even mischievous way. An idiosyncratic civilization, my dear Uncle Recai. In his last days, he adroitly divvied up all his belongings, all things going to an appropriate destination. Reducing all that accumulation down to a little side table—a napkin, half-filled glass of water, a few different types of medication. When I saw how he transformed his space into one that could bid farewell to his fatigued, modest self, I said to myself, “That’s it!” I should also leave in this way—without leaving anything behind for people to deal with, no fuss.
In addition to the people I know, my wealth is composed of houses full of documents, books, records, tools and gears. Most of them came to me second or third hand with all their past experiences. I was always happy to find things. So, they should continue with their paths. And those who were bridges—antiquarians, etc.— should also benefit; I know that they are the ones who can bring together the sincere demand with the desperate supply.
Translated from the Turkish by Merve Ünsal
For the original text, click here.
Alper Maral is a composer and musicologist focusing on social and political connotations in music. He has teaching and administrative posts in several universities; either as a composer, performer or lecturer, he contributed numerous international events—festivals, conferences, etc., co-founded and directed academic or artistic associations, and published extensively on social sciences.
Vasiyetimdir* is a publication project that aims to explore how artworks 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 m-est.org.
*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.