2010 - Shish Kebab




Relief Valve/Subap Exhibition - New Agrarian Center and Oberlin College - George Jones Farm - Curators: Nanette Yannuzzi-Macias and Arzu Özkal - Oberlin, OH




Cotton balls, bamboo skewers, plywood panels and paint.

In Turkish culture food carries the messages of welcome, love, caring, family, friendship, heritage, and many more... It is over food that important matters are discussed, intimate details shared. As a nation that can feed itself it is also a source of national pride. However all these are readily compromised when short term financial interest over powers the sustainability of the food chain. Similar to the short sighted use of coal to heat homes (while natural gas is an available option – though expensive) that delivers heavily polluted air, there have been many policies and practices of replacing farmland along with natural environment with ill-planned developments that are threatening the quality and quantity of the food produced.

Though the short term gains might deliver monetary joys high up in the clouds, shish kebabing the environment for short term gain is damaging important components that define Turkish culture. These short term gains threaten to compromise not only the ability of the country to feed itself but also presents a threat to the social fabric by compromising one of its fundamental building blocks.

This installation titled 'Shish Kebab' calls attention to the consequences of ignoring the relationship between the three ecologies Guattari defines. Though everything might appear orderly, the clouds have been put on a shish kebab readied to be consumed, the crescent and star now stands polluted, and all that has been held dear has been reduced to a cartoon image of itself.

The piece consists of a wall that is painted glossy black with wooden shish kebab spikes inserted. The spikes are lined with fluffed cotton balls resembling clouds. Together they form the shape of a cartoon cloud outline with a Turkish flag in the center.