Evolution of the Sacred






Image from the exhibition, Inverse Greyscale, Munich, 2016

Installation, 2 HD video, 8 photographs, archival materials, 2014

The series concentrates on the Museum of Van, which was built in 1974. An ancient city, apart from hosting many civilizations, Van was also the capital of the Urartu Kingdom in the Armenian Highlands, and therefore contains many archaeological remnants. The city, which constitutes a basis for the personal history of the artist, has been forced violently to expand by the city development projects. A primary school next to the museum – where the artist had studied – was demolished in 2010 to make place for a shopping mall. The museum will be moved into their new premise that is newly built right in front of the historical castle within a supposedly protected area where construction is forbidden.


video_evolotion of the sacred_ stone and iron

Evolution of the Sacred: Stone and Iron, video, HD, 2.37 min., 2014

At the video entitled The Evolution of Sacred: Stone and Iron, Öğrenci suggests a solidarity with the city, whose capacity is challenged, by symbolically erasing the iron bars raising from the construction site. The installation highlights the sad absurdity of this mode of urban development by juxtaposing cheap glass buildings with the castle and the steles of the ancient cemetery with a construction site, among others.



Evolution of the Sacred: Stone and Concrete, fine art photograph, 48×68, 2014


Evolution of the Sacred: Stone and Mirror, fine art photograph, 48×68, 2014

As Öğrenci is following the transformation process of Van Atatürk primary school to jewellers arcade, she interviews one of the museum archaeologists to learn the history of the scriptures in the garden. The man gives her information but then he fears that his comments regarding the recent political situation puts his job as a government officer at stake and wishes to stay off the record. As a solution the artist creates a fictional character and asks him to tell the story as it is. The hybrid character is in part herself, the archaeologist and the neighbors witnessing the construction.



Evolution of the Sacred, video, HD, 6.06 min., 2014