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“Beware of the void” (could have also been translated as "mind the gap") takes its name from the phrase that can be read on a signboard placed at a construction site in Mardin’s Yenisehir (newcity) district, cautioning passers-by against a gigantic hole in the ground.
In time, through an artistic research process (or through life itself) this phrase, finding its reflection as a feeling of loss on a personal level, starts to correspond to various forms of “gaps” in social, historical, political, economic, cultural, artistic and architectural scale.
IN ESSAY FORM:
“Beware of the Void” is an installation and artist's book that traces a particular feeling triggered by the experience of being at a particular place. (I had felt the presence of the void; yet had not named it. Upon arriving at the newly constructed part of Mardin and upon encountering a sign, i named it: DİKKAT BOŞLUK VAR. Translating it into English is tricky. One could have translated as MIND THE GAP, which I also do sometimes. However, BEWARE OF THE VOID is a better translation to transfer the feeling. Between an ironic text besed encounter and an almost terrifying feeling, I went after the voids in Mardin.
The second stage: I asked around. I asked: I have this feeling in Mardin. Is it because I am new to the city or do you feel it too? Various people I made acquaintance with in time lead me to the places where they felt this feeling the most. And one thing lead to another. Pages of a book were formed through our conversations and gestures. The iron rods of that construction were shaped to construct BOŞLUK (void). I carried the iron word around, triggering conversations, jokes. The iron void looked for a place to settle. And finally found its place upon a rock that is a continuation of a rock formation below. The rock stood at the BORDER of new and the old (historical) MArdin. And the language chosen to write the word, the TUrkish language itself stood like a gap hosted by the rock. Children around took care of the installation for three months at least. At the spot was a fire; the fire changed the route of the installation and transformed it into another work: d as in void...
I especially favor the book. he first page starts with NEEDLE LACE flowers held together by a metal pin. Aysel Abla, the maker of the lace, has to "balance the holes" every time she constructs a flower.
Forceful displacements of Armenians in historical Mardin leave behind a heavy feeling of loss. However, various voids lack a certain address; they are full of memories of unresolved past and present uncertainities.