Lullabies of displacement and immigration on show
The San Francisco-based SOMArts Cultural Center hosts “Sounds Like Home: Longing and Comfort through Lullabies,” an exhibition curated by Duygu and Bengü Gün. The exhibition showcases artworks from the artists Anastasia Georgievskaya, Ceyda Oskay, Daniel Konhauser, Duygu Gün, Elena Mencarelli, Güneş Terkol, Hannah Reyes Morales, Husniya Khujamyorova, İris Ergül, Nooshin Hakim, Rashin Fahandej Taro Hattori and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell.
Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News, curator Bengün Gün said the journey of the “Sounds Like Home” exhibition first started with Duygu Gün’s interest in lullabies in different cultures.
Noting that as a curator both have dreamt of building a comfortable dome in which people feel safe and protected while listening to lullabies from different regions, they decided to turn this into an extensive exhibition project including 13 artists working on different aspects of lullabies, mostly related to immigration and displacement stories like our family history.
Impact of music
Both sisters have always felt the impact of music in their lives. “Music was the medium which was connecting us to our roots, and which was also, in a way, universal,” said Bengü Gün. At Sounds Like Home: Longing and Comfort Through Lullabies we tried to provide different perspectives on this topic and reveal stories that we are not familiar with. The exhibition also aims to provide that comfortable and safe place for the audience.
According to the curators, “Sounds Like Home” not only questions how cultural memory is preserved and transmitted through simple melodic messages from childhood, but also challenges the way lullabies, family stories and fairy tales transmit gender roles and cultural norms while affirming that culture is dynamic.
“The exhibition creates a safe and comfortable space for people to recall their childhood memories and anchor back with their cultural roots while creating a bridge between cultures. Because, no matter where we come from and where we relive, the music instantly bonds us,” said Duygu Gün.
Stories, myths and philosophy
The multidisciplinary exhibition features an international roster of artists from different fields of study and creative practice. By using found materials, Anastasia Georgievskaya’s Second Childhood project is historically and plastically connected with the birth of her child, with changes in her psyche, physiology and life mission. Güneş Terkol and İris Ergül both use fabric and woven materials to create large-scale installations that draw from personal stories, mythology, philosophy, and rituals.
Photographer and National Geographic Explorer Hannah Reyes Morales’ “Living Lullabies” uncover how global issues are reflected in children’s songs and bedtime stories around the world. Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell fuses traditional art forms passed through the diaspora to create work that speaks to the power of history and how visual art aids in defining culture and identity. Transdisciplinary artist Rashin Fahandej’s “A Father’s Lullaby” is an ongoing series that leverages personal memory to interrogate the structural violence of mass incarceration.
The curators wanted to make the exhibition as interactive as possible by organizing public programs.
The exhibition comes with public programs to highlight the power of lullabies and create an ongoing connection with the local community, said Bengü Gün, the virtual opening and virtual exhibition will also be available for everyone until Aug 22.