This study is part of a programme of archaeological survey and projected excavation supervised by the artist. The work aims to investigate a subterranean 'Void' loosely located in Istanbul that is expected to be brought to light by 2015.
An unprecedented archaeological discovery, the 'Void' can be described as a polyvalent lacuna that manifests a sense of presence despite its lack of materiality. While the emergence of a monumental 'Void' in Istanbul at this specific historical moment may seem relatively conspicuous in and of itself, it is expected that its proper recognition will attract a lot of attention.
Thus, the investigation will incorporate the expertise of specialists from various disciplines-including (but not limited to) archaeology, geology, history, literature, psychology and psychoanalysis, astrophysics, etc. Significantly, these diverse forms of engagement with the 'Void' will frequently be mediated through exercises, actions, and performances developed in association with the 'Order of the Third Bird', a largely underground community of artists dedicated to the art and science beholding.
Through a year-long program of research, a multi-proxy reconstruction of cultural absence will be attempted. This will have the objective of transfiguring (the idea of) the missing element into a site of observance and encounter. Outcomes of the research may include a text, an installation and/or performance, and digital documentation.
The Void is one of the outcomes of the 'Working Group on Practical Noumenatics' (also known as the 'Niblach Group'), a body associated with the 'Order of the Third Bird' and dedicated to the 'Aesthetic Presencing of Absences.' This group of artist-researchers has been involved in the discovery of a performative exercise to be used with Works of Art in a Stolen Condition. It has been used, to date, around public monuments that have been robbed, misplaced, transposed, fragmented, or completely destroyed.
This is ongoing work. To date, a pair of key workshops has framed this inquiry (Niblach I: The Stolen Condition, Istanbul, 12-15 April 2014; Niblach II: Representing Absence, New York City, 28 May 2014), and a third (Niblach III: The Unrepresented) is scheduled for August 2014, again in Istanbul. Each of these sessions brings together a small cohort of dedicated collaborators from a range of fields who share a commitment to the recovery, activation, rehabilitation, reenactment, and resurrection of specific absences through performative practice.
About the artist
Sibel Horada was born in Istanbul in 1980. She lives and works in Istanbul. She received a BA in Visual Arts from Brown University, and a Masters degree in Art and Design from Yildiz Technical University. Horada has exhibited internationally as part of group shows, and held her first solo show at Daire Gallery, Istanbul in 2012.