Conversation with Hera Büyüktaşcıyan and Hajra Haider Karrar

Instances of Erasure
Video Screening Program
October 19, 2023 - February 17, 2024

with Bani Abidi, Sena Başöz, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Guido Casaretto, Isaac Chong Wai, Itamar Gov, İz Öztat, Simon Wachsmuth
Program by: Nazlı Yayla & Marjolein van der Meer

Conversation with Hera Büyüktaşcıyan and Hajra Haider Karrar
Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 19h

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan
Infinite Nectar, 2020
Video, color, sound; 10‘53‘‘

In her multidisciplinary practice, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan unfolds ways in which memory, identity, and knowledge are shaped by deeply ingrained yet constantly evolving waves of history. The artist often references mythology and theology, as well as specific architectural structures, as the foundation for her works, closely observing their genealogies and the ways in which they shift and evolve over time. Through her site-specific interventions, sculptures, drawings and films, Büyüktaşcıyan dives into terrestrial imagination by unearthing patterns of selected narratives and timelines that unfold the material memory of unstable spaces.

Infinite Nectar derives from poetics of space through the abandoned Sikh heritage buildings in Lahore that carry traces of 1947’s Partition. These spaces have been resilient in the face of power shifts, urban transformations and cycles of trauma throughout history. The artist unfolds these layers through the textures, architectural juxtapositions, and cracks within these spaces, overlaying them with animated mosaic-like stones and caressing them with a fragmented marble hand of Maharani Jindan Kaur, the last empress of the Sikh Empire and a revolutionary female character, who returns back to her place of origin and renders throughout the city like a ghost that reminds the unseen. The piece invokes the cyclical movement of time, memory and human presence in these spatial palimpsests. It refers to the representation of memory by creating a series of mirrorings through the lost and found elements of spaces that have become the embodiment of the invisible.*

Hera Büyüktaşcıyan is an artist born and based in Istanbul, Turkey. She was awarded the Emerging Artist Prize at the 1st Inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art in 2019. Selected exhibitons include Earthbound Whisperers, TATE St.Ives (2023); 14th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2023); Ancestral Weavings, TATE Modern, London (2022); Matter of Art Biennale, Prague (2022); British Museum, London (2021); New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); 3rd Autostrada Biennial, Kosovo (2021); Passerelle CAC, Brest (2020); 2nd Lahore Biennial, Pakistan (2020); 6th Singapore Biennial, Singapore (2019); 1st Inaugural Toronto Biennale, Canada(2019); Gigantisme, FRAC, Dunkirk (2019); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2018); Green Art Gallery Dubai (2017); EVA International Ireland Biennale, Limerick (2016); 14th Istanbul Biennale(2015); 56th Venice Biennale National Pavilion of Armenia, Italy(2015); Jerusalem Show VII (2014); ARTER, Istanbul (2013).

Hajra Haider Karrar is a curator and writer invested in articulating questions that destabilize and reconfigure colonial and capital paradigms that lay at the foundations of knowledge production by working through ancestral and affective epistemes. At present, she is Curator at SAVVY Contemporary: The Laboratory of Form-Ideas, Berlin. Formerly, she was the Chief Curator of the IVS Gallery and Faculty of Visual Arts at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi and a core member of the Tentative Collective. Since joining SAVVY Contemporary, she has curated the multichapter research project Unraveling the (Under-) Development Complex 2021 – 2024, the yearlong participatory project How Will You Ascertain Time? 2022, and The Wind in your Body is Just Visiting, Your Breath will Soon be Thunder by Pallavi Paul for the Forum Expanded, Berlinale, 2022. She was the co-curator for Indigo Waves & Other Stories: Re-navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora, 2022-2024, and ENIGMA #59: ROMAN, a retrospection by Bili Bidjocka for the Berlin Art Week, 2021.

Karrar’s curatorial and collaborative projects have been featured at cultural institutions and biennales including Tate Research Centre: Asia, London; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; Yarat Contemporary Art  Space, Baku; Akademie der Künst, Berlin; Lahore Biennale, Moscow Biennale for Young Art, International Biennale of Contemporary Art Azerbaijan, and Kochi – Muziris Biennale. She has edited multiple publications and regularly contributes essays on artistic practice, visual and media cultures to publications, journals, and monographs.

*The piece has been produced as a part of  the 2nd Lahore Biennale 2020 in curatorial collaboration with Hajra Haider Karrar and supported by SAHA Association Supporting Contemporary Art From Turkey, National Collage of Arts Lahore and LUMS Gurmani Center for Languages and Literature

Platform 82 powered by Zilberman is a new art space that aims to bring together artists, curators and institutions from different corners of the world, generating dialogue through conversations, presentations, publications, and exchange programs.

Instances of Erasure

Instances of Erasure brings together 8 video works by 8 artists, accompanied by a series of conversations. Running from October 2023 until February 2024, two videos by two artists are on view roughly every four weeks, with conversations between artists and guests.

With films by Bani Abidi, Sena Başöz, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Guido Casaretto, Isaac Chong Wai, Itamar Gov, İz Öztat and Simon Wachsmuth. Guests include Sam Bardaouil, Zippora Elders, Nida Ghouse, Nav Haq, Hajra Haider Karrar, Füsun Türetken and Marianna van der Zwaag.

Instances of Erasure delves into the theme of erasure. Through their visual narratives, artists invite the viewer to contemplate the delicate threads that connect memory, history, and the shaping of identity. It encompasses urban structures, architectural fragments and unseen traces that enable one to re-read social and personal histories.