Vahap Avşar in conversation with Merve Ünsal
I only saw photographs of Cengiz Çekil’s Exhibition / Installation (Şantiye Sanat Galerisi, İzmir, 1994). The altars and grave markers in Tanned Jackets and Winners—two works from this exhibition—, I feel, are predecessors to the body of work Northern Forests by KABA HAT, the artist collective that I’m part of.
In translating Kemal’s metaphorical story into its literal substances, Çekil reveals how the desire to make myths is not extraordinary or divinely inspired.
Through the work, Çekil produces a distancing effect towards the outside world, creating a ‘safe’ space to think about and look outside, where there are no eye contacts or one-on-one encounters.
If death is the eternal sleep, the final lying down wrapped in white cotton sheets, and if the bedspring is discarded and declared to be dead, do the two deaths cancel each other into life?
So human life
Long or short
Or slow, tense, dirty or white?