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Transforming Forces, Selected By Gülşah Mursaloğlu (online exhibition)

About the exhibition

As the blood seeped into her brain, she dreamed that she had entered a new episode of time, in which she and the stone would become the same through the endless repetition and decay of all things in the universe. Molecules that had existed in her body would be joined with the stone’s molecules, over and over in age after age. Flesh would become stone and stone become flesh, and someday they would meet in the mouth of a bird” -Louise Erdrich, The Stone  

As we approach the end of our third month in quarantine* here in Istanbul – and in other places around the world-, many words and phrases have been used to describe the current pandemic by the media such as ‘crisis’, ‘outbreak’, ‘disaster’ and ‘calamity’ among others. The more I think about the unfolding events of the past few months the more I started to perceive the virus as a transforming force, one that highlights the omnipresent inequalities and dysfunctional power structures as it moves around the world. Transforming forces can take many forms such as friendships, influence from the words of those who are long gone, ground shattering earthquakes or a wind that moves sedimentary rocks. They come in manifold scales and their effects vary on a spectrum; they can take lives of many or change one’s perspective on a minor subject. But no matter what size they are, one thing is always certain: they always bring change as well as insight on the preexisting conditions. Through this pandemic and its effects, we’re realizing that we have built so many structures and modes of behavior that are detrimental for many of us and the other species we share the planet with. In this selection, I tried to pick works from the collection that allude to transforming forces; whether it is a light connecting people and shadows, a blender creating a cacophony in its orbit or a beak devouring the mound nearby.    

*This text was written in June 2020, in Istanbul, Turkey.

About the selector

Gülşah Mursaloğlu (1989, Istanbul) completed her BA in Sociology at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In her works, she explores materiality, matter’s agency and human and non-human temporalities. Her installations, which emerge after an in-depth and extensive research process, don’t remain stable in form, and rather manifest themselves as dynamic and fluid systems through their ephemeral nature.

The entire exhibition

Available work