While preparing for the group exhibition Letter from Istanbul, I contemplated the trials of many journalists and writers, and about the act of writing letters.
Thinking about whether letters were the only way to communicate for someone who is in prison, I realized that for people who had dedicated their lives to writing and thinking (writers and journalists) their inability to do their jobs was taking away their basic liberties. Motivated by these personal feelings, I wanted to delve into this topic.
Objects that were controlled were stamped with as “seen” and allowed in, books for reading were not even allowed into the prisons. Thinking about these controls and surveillance, I created a stencil for the wall that was inspired by the “seen” stamp, to be applied to the wall on which I collated objects and paintings.
Envelopes and letters were also juxtaposed with three paintings from the Guilty series. A telephone with its cable cut off was placed as part of this collage to point to the lack of communication. An old postcard of Galata symbolized a yearning for the past and a white sheet from my mother’s dowry signified memory. I imagined all of these objects to have emerged from my imaginary personal trunk, a place that was my own. A black bag and a found letter were also placed as part of this constellation. In addition, a letter was hung on the wall of the installation, asking for the viewers in London to write to me. The letter would thus serve as a communication tool that would facilitate my receiving letters from people I didn’t know.