Exhibition opens at historical mound
Aşıklı Mound has turned into a dialogue between art and archeology through the works of 13 Turkish and international artists. The exhibition “Lines of Site,” which opened on Feb. 4 at the Historical Hüsrev Kethüda Bath, can be visited until Feb. 25.
Situated in the Gülağaç district of the central Anatolian province of Aksaray in between Mount Hasan and the Melendiz River, Aşıklı Mound is the oldest known village in Central Anatolia.
With a history of 10,500 years, the Aşıklı Mound excavation site is one where almost every stage of the transition from the hunter-gatherer period to the sedentary agricultural life can be traced. It draws attention by being an archaeological settlement where many firsts such at the first brain surgery and the domestication of sheep and goats took place.
While there is still history to be uncovered in the mound, where excavations have been continuing for 32 years, 10,500 years of history met with art through the efforts of the Friends of Aşıklı Society, which aims to support the excavations, ensure that the cultural heritage is embraced and protected by the local people and increase the visibility of the excavation site.
The Society’s ‘An Intercultural Dialogue Through Art and Archaeology Project’ is supported under the “Grant Scheme for Common Cultural Heritage: Preservation and Dialogue between Türkiye and the EU–II (CCH-II)” implemented by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry with the financial support of the European Union.
The interdisciplinary Project planned and implemented together with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the University of Dundee (UD) aims to promote the mound by bringing together art, history, art history, archaeology and anthropology. Within the scope of the project, works of artists from different countries convey life in Aşıklı and the important developments in human history.
Artists from five countries
The exhibition includes the works of artists from Turkey, U.K., Spain, U.S. and Colombia, produced with various techniques and different formats. Curated by Fırat Arapoğlu and Gary Sangster, the works bear the traces of the artists’ experiences at the Aşıklı Mound excavation site.
The exhibition brings together the art works of Özgül Arslan, Eva Bosch, Şahin Domin, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Leyla Emadi (Stephen Farthing (UK/US), Murat Germen, Osman Nuri İyem, Blanca Moreno, Dillwyn Smith, Hakan Sorar, Anita Taylor and Emre Zeytinoğlu.
President of the Friends of Aşıklı Society, Ferhat Boratav, mentions the following about the project:
“As society, our objective is to support Aşıklı Mound. With this exhibition, we aim to introduce the mound to those who are interested in archeology, art history, contemporary arts, and anthropology, but more importantly, to people who are not aware of a not so well known period in the cultural heritage of these lands. Because Aşıklı is a place that will spark the imagination of people pondering upon the question of ‘is another social order possible’ is therefore worth seeing and knowing about. The fact that the exhibition will tour the cities of Barcelona in Spain and Dundee in Scotland after its time in Istanbul, will bring the ancient heritage of Aşıklı Höyük to the attention of a broader international public. Our objective is to present Aşıklı Höyük to the World.”
Curator Arapoğlu summarizes the exhibition as follows: “This exhibition where works of various techniques and disciplines come together, include the artists’ international range of perspectives, coupled with their use of different media and light, and their unique research concerns. In this way, the excavation works documented through art, provide a diverse range of themes for the findings.”
In Parallel to the “Lines of Site / Kazı İzleri” exhibition, a series of seminars will be held until Feb. 22. The Art and Archaeology Project Seminar Program will be held at the Postane building in Galata, and will also be streamed live on YouTube.