The Antihero’s Desire for Death

‘the antihero’s desire for death’, installation, 150×260 cm. fineart print on mdf, fig, glass, 2014,
 4th Çanakkale Biennial




…I have grown… ‘ripe’ for death – like an over-soft fig, in fact one that is gluey already and about to drop to the ground, my soul is ready…(p.126)

…One day, a time-fused projectile will burst up there like an overripe pomegranate and will shower its iron seeds onto my awning. (p.124)

Often I try to reassure myself as I jump with fear at the smallest sound. If only you knew how I struggled to stop my heart tremble like a sapling in the wind every time a bush sways, a jackal howls, or a dislodged stone rolls away behind me into the night.” (p.128)

Stratis Myrvilis, Life in the Tomb, Translated by Peter Bien, Cosmos Publishing, 2004.



detail photograph of the installation

The book ‘Life in the Tomb’ by Stratis Myrivilis from Lesbos that has been banned for years, where the author questions the meaninglessness of war based on true stories, is dedicated to women, the latent victims of war. In the chapter ‘The Sleep of Death’, the soldier Mihal who flees in fear of war, hides in the one-man trench he digs for himself and waits for his death. His response to his sergeant as he gets caught is as follows: …I have grown… ‘ripe’ for death – like an over-soft fig, in fact one that is gluey already and about to drop to the ground, my soul is ready…(p.126)

Aramis have called the fig, the symbol of fertility in mythology, paganism and monotheistic religions, ‘Idra’ with the meaning ‘soul’ and have symbolized it as ‘a beginning and its essence’, whereas Farsis have called it ‘Ancir’ attributing to it the meaning ‘drilling, carving, destructing’ and have considered it to be dangerous and obscene. The fig tree, which is believed to possess both creative and destructive powers, has two types; the male type and the female type. The female one is the one we eat the fruits of, the male one on the other hand, is stiff and does not ripen. Whatever meaning it may be ascribed, the fig, ripping the earth and coming to the world rampantly, continues to be the exemplum of the humankind: giving birth, protecting and at the same time destructing.



detail photograph of the installation


For Antiheroes

installation, fineart print in variable dimensions, fig
, 4th Canakkale Biennial 2014


process photograph of the installation

In narratives of the First World War, the ‘western front’ is highlighted and heroism is emphasized through the Dardanelles Campaign. Yet the destructive effect of the battles and genocides that have taken place in the eastern, southern and northeastern parts of Anatolia can still be felt, even today. For Antiheros, was made in remembrance of the people who died in wars and struggles for freedom that have occurred in the recent past and also continue today, in countries bordering or neighboring each other, especially in the Middle eastern geography. Pınar Öğrenci uses the symbolized fig image for the people who don’t want to fight in “the Antihero’s Desire for Death” to build up a common wish for peace this time and asks artists living in bordering geographies to symbolically send her figs.


for antiheroes1


Nigol Bezjiyan Beirut / Lebanon
Khaled Jarrar Ramallah / Palestine
Lia Lapithi Lefkoşa / Cyprus
Erkan Özgen Diyarbakır / Turkey
Ruben Arevshatyan Yerevan / Armenia
Grigor Khachatryan Yerevan / Armenia
Mkrtich Matevosyan Yerevan / Armenia
Evrim Kavcar Mardin / Turkey

Cengiz Tekin Diyarbakır / Turkey

for antiheroes

process photograph of the installation