Taklak 

Artistic research, publication and  performance / İstanbul, Berlin, Leipzig, Adana /
The project is granted by SAHA (Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey)



A plant among plants.
A companion.
The carrier of the Aegean landscape, the Taurus Mountain’s air, the sounds of Istanbul, and the dreams and myths wandering around the Eastern Mediterranean.

That plant is Taklak, known by other names such as Zamzarik on the southern coasts, Koutsoupia on the islands, Arguvan and Dara Cihûda in the mountains that cross borders, Judah Tree in religious books, and Cercis Siliquastrum in Latin.

While I was longing for a land, sea and air, I left behind in 2021, Taklak became a companion to me. In Germany, a new setting where I was striving to belong to, they seeped into my dreams, as well as my fears. They took me to the new spheres in each and every turn.


The project, TAKLAK registers this journey. It travels among archives, follows the footsteps of the botanists merged in landscape, pays visit to various plants, searches for the different representations of a plant, and explores the dreams and myths of the lands along the coasts of Mediterranean. Thinking about and around how a plant can create intercultural belonging, Taklaks are transformed from objects of nostalgia to companions of resilience. The journey not only about findings and meetings but also about loss and exclusion. The duality of being both here and there, belonging or not belonging to Germany as a part of diaspora.

As an artistic and archival research, TAKLAK traverses the fields of etymology, ecology, and botany while dealing with the representations of unknown territories, climates, and languages.

This is a story of gathering. This is a story of foraging. Seeds, names, meanings, symbols, stories, testimonies, and memories in notebooks, boxes, and bags are rooted and unrooted, spreading around and spinning round.

Performance


Photos: 
09.03.2022, daadgalerie, Berlin in the framework of ALAN#3, Burak Çevik

The performance introduces TAKLAK as a flower. A dialogue blossoms around the narrative and archives that TAKLAK has gathered and created. It offers imagination of embodied experiences, and performances inherent to TAKLAK and its various translations, from tumbling to betraying, revolution to coup d’état. One can reinvent oneself as a Taklak during the performance, blossom and tumble through the cycle of seeds, exiles, and belongings across geographies and time.
‘‘Plants seep into my mind and dream - from hills filled with houses or between mountains, along streams, and through pines. They are always on my mind in the story of making a place for myself in another city, Leipzig. And it is good to be with them in this story. Because it gives me strength to see that a seed can take root in many places, make many places home and come to life under different names: Taklak, Erguvan, Cercis, Judas Baum, Redbud, Arkavan, Koutsoupia, dara Cihûda, شجرة يهوذا, հուդայի ծառ’’

...

‘’My search still spans a wide area. Notice Taklaks in many landscapes, languages, tales and memories, archives, herbariums and gardens. As I wander, it becomes a story, a story of stories of Taklaks.‘’

The project continues in collaboration with Merve Şen (editor), Ali Cindoruk (KHORA, designer), Aslıhan Demirtaş (KHORA, designer)

Please email me for the video documentation of the performance. I am interested in presenting TAKLAK lecture performance in further occasions!  
Photos are taken by Burak Çevik, 09.03.2022, daadgalerie, Berlin in the framework of ALAN#3 hosting Cana Bilir-Meier, Zeynep Toraman and Dilşad Aladağ