Momentum of Memory

29 Mart – 25 Ağustos 2013
Bellek İvmesi
Arsenale Docks, San Pietro di Castello, Venedik

Recm, Enstalasyon, 2013
Bellek İvmesi, Arsenale Docks

Recm & Encounter, 2013,
Momentum of Memory, Arsenale Docks

Memory, 2013
Video, 12′ 09”
Momentum of Memory, Arsenale Docks

Whistle, 2013
Video, 2′ 04”
Momentum of Memory, Arsenale Docks

Denial, 2013
Video, 00′ 19”
Momentum of Memory, Arsenale Docks

Language, 2013
Video, 05′ 27”
Momentum of Memory, Arsenale Docks

Güneştekin’s pivotal installation Momentum of Memory, consists of a large-scale wall relief, an iron cage filled with wooden letters titled Recm (the Arabic word for stoning, the punishment that consists of a group of people throwing stones at the sentenced individual until the person dies) and a series of videos. While the wall relief, Encounter, is a reflecting surface of confrontation, presenting a mediation and clarification of distortive processes, the videos re-construct the detailed strategies of the process of culture’s homogenization. Here, we observe the artist’s approach of creating a dichotomy between reconciliation (the abstract surface) and reaction (the cage and the videos). In the wall relief, he primarily reveals his interest in expressing basic human emotions such as tragedy, ecstasy and doom by installing a reflecting wall expected to generate identical recollections when confronted by the viewer. He intends to reveal the truths within distorted history, so he invites the viewer to a moment of quietude and courage to take the risk to enter into a thought asking what happened, what is happening and what might happen?


The large scale of the work creates an unfamiliar space that intends to convey the power of the unmistakable confrontation between the connotations of the work and the viewer’s appreciation. The surface of this work consists of vertical carved plates with religious symbols and mirrors. In front of this mighty bas-relief surface, the viewer feels drawn on the multi-lined fragmentation and cannot effortlessly envision the artist’s intentions. Using the potential of sublimation and indirect internalization of the abstraction, he manifests his affinity to the modernist canon. Being an artist faithful to the traditional epic and mythological image realm, he is inclined to disguise rather than display the depressive sense of the memories, most often full of horrific events.


The three-dimensional work, the iron cage filled with black wooden letters of the alphabet lying scattered around the cage, with a few of them even in colour, reveals his obsession with language in conjunction with the rupture that has forced the multi-cultural communities of Anatolia towards assimilation under one language only. This work is related to the videos titled Whistle, Denial, and Memory. They refer to the background story of the abstract wall-relief and the psycho-sociological deformations of the homogeneous nation-state ideology.


The video-work Memory, employing the dates of traumatic historical moments and sombre folk songs, is installed facing the abstract wall-relief, which refers to a painful history. In this history, among many other atrocities, he commemorates the one against the Kurdish people that took place when chemical weapons used in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraq. Other videos render human struggles to resolve the incongruity or the gap between the mother language and the language of assimilation with black humour, but it also displays their resistance against assimilation. The aesthetic gaze towards concealed and denied history slow down the unbearable flux of history for the moment and gives the individual the possibility to ponder its controversial position in the continuing historical progress.