Fondazione Merz


Fatma Bucak. So as to find the strength to see


texts by Lisa Parola, Maria Centonze, Fatma Bucak, Kaya Genç, Gianmaria Ajani
pages: 168
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: April 2018
binding: hardback
language: Italian/English
isbn 9788877572707

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The catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition So as to find the strength to see held at Fondazione Merz from 6th March to 27th May 2018. “Examining the work of Fatma Bucak is like looking down on a deconstructed map. Here we find trails travelled and then cancelled out, landscapes designed and then abandoned, a geography that continually redraws itself, intertwining facts and biographies, erased events and non-identities. In the artist’s recent work, these landscapes expand from Turkey to Syria and North Africa and then reach Europe and the United States with the aim of investigating a political framework that is particularly difficult to define. The artist’s research can be understood as a constantly evolving visual practice that refers directly to the etymology of the Greek verb prássein, the meaning of which is not limited to making or doing but also picks up the idea of travelling, walking, crossing.” (Lisa Parola, Maria Centonze) “The place [Fondazione Merz] has huge, white walls and the light travels from right to left; it smells of cement. It was cold, imperfect, and fascinating. Voices echo within it and join together to become a confusion. While I was walking within the space I thought of how the dominance of its industrial nature was meeting with different art, and each time giving a new identity to the place. It is a difficult, stubborn, and ravishing setting – that was my first impression of walking in it. On the industrial outskirts of Turin has its own industrial character, its relationship with the city through industrialisation and the working class movements that shaped it; the very fact that the space was once a thermal power station for a car company. Most importantly its relation to Mario Merz and arte povera made me think about a conceptual and physical place that is at once collective and individual, that has traces of its own imperfect self and historical memory, of war and fascism – those relationships that are strongly tied to politics and mediate between land and culture. The desire to look to this inhabited place and investigate the fragility and tension of history was inevitable for me. To resist to conventional narratives about an “open-ended” resilient place and this time have it become home to my art.” (Fatma Bucak)   “With characteristic buoyancy of spirit, Bucak called this exhibition So as to find the strength to see. Five years after the fall of the Turkish spring, she wonders if we can smell the roses of a country besieged by forces with conflicting agendas and a shared love of violence. Lands that today reek of gunpowder can once again smell of roses. This is the vision we are asked to find the strength to see.” (Kaya Genç)   The catalogue reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition at the Fondazione Merz and a selection of Bucak‘s works to nowdays. A conversation between the exhibition curators and the artist explores the site specific installation at the Fondazione Merz. The book also includes a specially commissioned text by Kaya Genç (a contributor to The New York Review of Books and the author of Under the Shadow, I.B. Tauris), and a short essay by Gianmaria Ajani (Professor of Private Comparative Law, University of Turin).