“Hidden in Loss” is an exhibition about staying alive. It has vital concerns about being able to breathe in the atmosphere of organized evil that has descended upon us; that is choking us. Its gaze extends not only to life but also to death, not only to the future but also the past. It reminds us that for human life and dignity we must institute not just life and hope but also loss and mourning. It reserves, despite everything, the hope for a life where those who have been mourning for centuries, and those who have not been allowed to mourn, and those who refuse to mourn can come together, that is, it reserves the hope for peace.
In order not to fall from the edge of “loss” into the abysmal void, Arzu Yayıntaş, CANAN, Evrim Kavcar, Fulya Çetin, Nalan Yırtmaç and Neriman Polat have come side by side with the urgency of talking, remembering, telling, sharing and connecting. Knowing what it means to lose someone has brought them together. From tragedies of the past, they have heard both the breath of lives awaiting salvation for centuries and the laments that were never sung for the dead who could not be buried. They found each other under the burden of the banned mournings of people whom no law protects. They are asking, “Why can’t some deaths be mourned as real and significant losses? Why are only certain pains legitimate, only certain losses real? How is it possible that some people are ‘expendable’; they can just be killed?”
Six women are talking about faces lost and gone, memories, places, nature, innocence and conscience. Looking for something hidden in the loss. They are asking each other what it is that we lose and acquire with each loss, how losses change us forever. Yes, they are talking about those who are no longer alive, cannot be named, represented, comprehended, conveyed, and therefore irredeemable. Yet their eternal absence sets the limits of finite existence. For those who survive, pain and meaning and hope all breathe in the nooks of “loss”.
Loss has a transformative effect and a mysterious relationship with art. Can the need for art be explained by the fact that we do not know what it is exactly that we have lost and the impossibility of representing it, yet the fierce desire to bring that which is hidden in the loss to here, to now all the same? Perhaps, with all its fictionality, the “art work” has the power to record in symbolic order, in story and in social memory the fragmented, pallid, silent, inarticulate, frightening traces of memory that surpass the borders of the word and the symbolic.
“Hidden in Loss” attempts not to fill the void but to accept the loss as “loss itself”, invite absence into existence, and become the subject of an essentially impossible state of witnessing. Despite its doubts and apprehensions, hope covers the void like a thin film of smoke. Hope always becomes the survivor. Because sharing the pain suffered for the losses opens up to new sensory, political and social affinities.
The exhibition titled “Hidden in Loss” by Arzu Yayıntaş, CANAN, Evrim Kavcar, Fulya Çetin, Nalan Yırtmaç and Neriman Polat can be visited at Karşı Sanat through March 25 – April 17, 2016.