Tolga Akbaş


My work “From the Beginning” is a reference to the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” directed by Michel Gondry, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. The film’s summary is as follows; Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) learns that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has applied for a mysterious medical procedure to erase all memories of their relationship. Heartbroken by this situation and deciding to perform the same procedure on himself to forget about Clementine, Joel heads to the experimental medical center Lacuna Lab. Under the supervision fo Dr. Mierzwiak he is put to sleep to forget her memories. Joel realizes that under all the anger and tears he feels a great love towards her and does not want to lose her. Joel must find a way to stop the process of erasing his memories before completely forgetting Clementine. The video work goes along this path. The video proceeds to show a small portion (1.5 years) of the rapidly expanding “Urban Transformation” process in Turkey. As the video goes on we witness an entire neighborhood almost disappears. However, it is not just concrete buildings that disappear, it is also the swings built on trees, playgrounds, the conversations happening in front of doorsteps, and neighbor relations, in short, it is memories that disappear. The video contains a regret in this respect similar to the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. It indicates that we have abandoned the memories and experiences that we have accumulated for many years with our own will. The return is either very difficult or impossible. With the disappearance of the space, one of the factors that keep our memory alive, the experiences related to it also begin to disappear.

MOUNDS // HÖYÜK What the “Modern” human describes as the “primitive” human, has long used or re-used places that are suitable for living without leaving for thousands of years, which has resulted in multi-layered hill like structures which we call “mounds”. Mounds are the usage of living spaces that are constructed from the ashes of what has been destroyed by wars or natural causes, a rebirth. It is possible to examine the distant past through archeological methods. But how can we examine the current moment we live in and the process of these “modern mounds”? Throughout history and today, we see these layered structures rapidly moving towards both the sky and the undergrounds while transforming, breaking, accumulating, and mixing. In this context, the project works to strip away from the real plane, and move towards the plane of an image while creating a new space that offers contemplation through the examination of overtime. Also the project challenges the concept of “a moment” while examining a long stretch of time and works to keep an up to date record of these modern mounds.
Project 3 –

They were here before humans. Even before God… We named and embraced everything as if it was ours in the entire world, even the universe. We drew borders, separating people from each other, We drew borders, when the time came by cutting the roots underground! We drew borders, over the nests of insects! And then we “helped” all the living things besides ourselves, We restricted hunting, we adopted a bird with a broken wing! We hurt them, then called them “vulnerable” We measured intelligence, based on our own intelligence, we said smart, we said dumb. Everything was left for us, but from who? Fuzuli Şagil: Invading those with or without fault, possession of the property, with the permission of authority, taking possession without consent. Invasion of property.

© Tolga Akbaş