The Cracked Sea of Marble, 2009

Installation, 1000 C-Prints, HD Video, Wall Text
OpenSpace, Boundary Signal exhibition curated by Fatih Aydogdu
With Guven Incilioglu (xurban_collective)

Looking out from an imperial vista located in the Topkapi Palace, the Marmara Sea extends towards the horizon and conspicuously hides and reveals our innermost fears. Underneath the surface of the water, the Northern Anatolian fault is breeding silently. It is expected to cause an earthquake in Istanbul sometime soon—as it rehearsed in 1999—but for now, it is subdued by what lies above the sea. The Marmara Sea has witnessed many a catastrophe since Prokopius, in the sixth century. The monster of the sea (Propontis) was claimed to be a leviathan, of whale-like proportions who sunk Roman ships until it was finally captured.

Seen from where we stand today, looking further down towards the South-East—passing the waves and struggling with the currents—one can feel the real burden of a recent past represented by the two remote islands of Imrali and Yassiada. These islands were in the past and are currently used as a detention center for political prisoners, yesterday and today. In the same axes of sight, towards the border of another sea, one would also perceive another desolation in real-time, executed by the war machine on a grand scale. The real devastation is that the sea is not a smooth surface any longer—the sky is buckled and merged with the earth—and the minute details are subjected to extreme stratifications by the cruelty of fanaticisms.