Wreaths are usually given for a celebration in Turkey: weddings, openings, and ceremonies. They have a long, wooden structure with a stand, and a round shape at the top to hold fresh flowers. For me, growing up, they were a symbol of power and wealth; the importance of someone who is able to afford something that, in a few days, will be spoiled. I often asked myself, “Why would anyone throw their money away for something that will die?”
The work emerges from personal relationships with my own culture and identity, which affirms the idea of ‘home’, created by community of language, traditions, certain beliefs and politics. The photographs combine beauty with sadness and texts which seem contrary to function. They create curiosity through their ownership. Where were the flower baskets before? Where does the text come from? Where is the landscape where the wreaths are now?
In Turkey, a country where people are increasingly fearful of expressing their opinions, interpretations of history and identity have become supressed. Imbued with meaning, people are not allowed to put their ‘flower arrangements’ anywhere they want. Flowers die, everything fades eventually, even regimes. I placed the works in rural areas of my hometown, Adana, a place unlocateable to many, yet very recognizable to me. The wilting flowers create metaphors relating to immigration, global warming, technology and social media. They also represent the tragic beauty of the location.
The idea is not an attempt to show what is beautiful but rather to show what is left. What happens when the beauty is gone? They remind us that things are temporary. Through my works I try to put things together that are juxtaposed: the meaning of the text and also the casual language is far removed from the traditional object they are displayed with. While the world we live is already very well articulated I am interested in unnamed possibilities. In this sense, dead and abandoned flowers come alive as a readymade when they are removed from their context.
Below is the text I used for this work:
Are you still talking?
-Because l am done.
Me and me and me and me...
-we think so much of it.
My language is insulting me:
-is that it?
-what is next?
How could l talk about my religion?
You have to fight beauty
(l’m just saying)
It was suddenly theirs:
What do you do when a place is not your home anymore?
What would you do if you were there?
Yellow things are coming:
-l am sick of this-