Clothes from the Past
I made a video of my installation “Clothes from the Past” after all the visitors left. I walked in each of the rooms displaying my exhibits. The creaking floors had a vague presence of previous lifes. The exhibits were at the 150 year old Dole Mansion near Chicago.
Clothes from the Past Installation was installed at the Dole Mansion in Illinois in March 2017 as part of a solo exhibition series by the Turkish American artist Belgin Yucelen.
“Costumes of a period portray the status of the people, their traditions and the sophistication of a culture. I created garments similar to the ones worn by Turkish women and children in Anatolia and Europe from 17th to 19th centuries in a way to bring back and portray my culture. I referred to miniature paintings and literary sources to understand the styles of the time and studied the Ottoman textiles to create the embellishment on them.” Belgin Yücelen
Imagine what happens to words if they are not heard. The imagery I always had was that words would be floating forever in the sky or inside rooms if they are not heard. The idea behind this exhibition was born from this thought.
I asked people who they are, how they define themselves and if there is anything different they would have wanted to be. These are questions no one possibly asked them before and they are not easy to answer. Their recorded responses with an intense earnestness are the audio part of this exhibition. They are played in an overlapping and echoing manner as if the words are coming from a monologue far away in time. Remorse, pride or hope for change together with a desire to be heard is revealed in many of them.
Spoken words are actually sound waves. To me they carry the weight of the meaning intended for them when they are spoken. Their meaning however is lost and they become weightless if they are not heard by another person. The installation piece I designed which represent floating “words” consist of transparent spheres. About 400 spheres made of transparent sheer fabric are hung from the ceiling. They are the visual representation of the spoken but unheard words.
Thousands of words keep flying in the forgotten skies like lost souls. Can you hear them?
“Looking Back” is an autobiographical short movie which represents our stories in which we try to create coherent connections among our experiences that are supported by memory. It is created in Boulder and Istanbul and is displayed on the screen installed on a sculpture. The sculpture is a woman figure looking back.
Floating Children is a short movie on my Installation for the Children of Syria.
With this installation I intended to display the fragility of children in times of war. I collaborated with photojournalist Brian Rutter from Ireland for this exhibition.
Black and white photographs of Syrian children printed on sheer fabric are hung from the ceiling in a way to seem like they are floating in the wind. I was inspired by a Japanese woodblock from 18th century of a woman whose handkerchief and concealed letters were carried away by a sudden wind. These children can also be carried away and disappear.
The transparency emphasizes their fragility. To observe a child’s delicate innocence feels weightless even under the most difficult circumstances. The lightness of the material is to convey this feeling of lightness.