- Opening: Wednesday 31 January, 18:30
- Dates: 1 February 2018 - 25 February 2018
Deletion marks aims to explore the complex relations woven through time between Turkey and Abkhazia. In the first phase of the project, Tareq Daoud and Elisabeth Denys visited a few selected villages in the Düzce and Sakarya provinces of Turkey, with the desire to better understand the history and trajectory of their inhabitants. On these occasions, they also met with representatives of local cultural associations. The insights offered by the members of this diaspora, the largest in absolute numbers outside their country of origin, helped them grasp the dramatic and painful process that led Abkhazians and, with a broader scope people of several North Caucasian countries, to be uprooted and relocated in Turkey.
Over the course of their stays in the villages, the artists noticed some striking recurrences: firstly, the complete absence of photographs, artifacts and any written traces predating the second half of the 20th century in most households. Secondly, the strong assimilation processes that put Abkhaz language and culture under pressure since the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
During their residency at the SKLAD Cultural Institute in the capital city of Abkhazia, Sukhum, the artists completed their preparatory work by approaching Turkish citizens from Abkhaz (or closely related peoples) origin who repatriated to their homeland. A path in which Abkhazia is both the point of departure and arrival formed a completed circle of perpetuation.
The four pieces presented in this exhibition condensate Tareq and Elisabeth's subjective approach to memory and the (re)construction of identity, two themes often addressed in their past works. At the same time, this exhibition wishes to pay a tribute to the admirable spirit of resistance of Abkhaz people throughout history and in spite of all odds.
Tareq Daoud (b. 1976) is a photographer and filmmaker. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and grew up in French-speaking Switzerland where his family resettled after the war broke out in his country. After receiving his M.A. in Biology from Geneva University, he continued his studies in cinema at the EICTV Film School in La Havana, Cuba. Author of fiction and documentary works, he currently lives in Istanbul.
Elisabeth Denys (b. 1989) is a social sciences researcher and audiovisual producer. She was born in Rouen and grew up in the northern part of France. After attaining her M.A. in History and International Relations, she worked in the field as a journalist. Her interest for multimedia and interview-based works led her to collaborate regularly on fiction and documentary projects. She is living and working in Istanbul since 2015.