Sacred Relics (2007-2010)

in collaboration with Dikran Taş

Sacred Relics is an attempt to reflect on the interdependency between the context and the ontology of objects.

Hacer’ül Esved (2007)

IzOztatDikranTasHacerulEsved2007

Hacer’ul Esved is a black stone placed on the eastern corner of Kaaba to mark the beginning place of the circumambulation. It is believed to be sent from heaven. In 756, when the Emevis besieged Mekke, a catapulted stone hit the Hacer’ul Esved and broke it to pieces. Abdullah bin Zubeyr put the broken pieces together in a silver cover.

During Ottoman rule, the worn out covers (due to pilgrims’ touch and kisses) were replaced with new ones. The  old Hacer’ul Esved cover, which is in the Pavilion of the Sacred Relics in Topkapi Palace is the departure point for the object produced.

Surp Hrant (2008)

IzOztatDikranTasSurpHrant2008 

Hrant Dink committed his life to constructing dialogue across differences and reworking memories to allow us understand each other’s pain.  By publishing Agos, a newspaper both in Turkish and Armenian, he gave voice and visibility to a closed minority group, while creating public awareness about their social and political demands.

Hrant Dink was put on trial for insulting Turkishness (with clause 301) and was made a target of Turkish nationalism both by the state and by the media. He was murdered on January 19th, 2007. Soon after, it was obvious that the government and police were complicit in the murder.

Sacred Relic of the Future I GMO-free Wheat Seed (2010)

IzOztatDikranTasRelicOfTheFuture2010

Sacred Relic of the Future is based on a reliquary made for preserving Prophet Muhammad’s hair.  It calls attention to a heritage -GMO-free local seeds- that will be completely destroyed with genetic engineering unless we find a way to preserve them.