RAMPA Istambul is presenting Ergin Cavusoglu at LOOP14
And I Awoke, 2012
04’10’’ Single channel, HD video, color, sound
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
Presented by RAMPA Istanbul at #LOOP14
Central to Ergin Çavuşoğlu’s conceptual art practice are themes that examine notions of place, liminality and the conditions of cultural production, which he has been exploring in a diversity of media, including narrative film, video and sound installations, sculpture and drawing. The pattern of literary references in his works unfold a series of moral tales that have a hypothetical relevance to contemporary art and furthermore comment on the creative processes at large. In “And I Awoke” (2012), Çavuşoğlu delves into and reflects on the complexities of the human subconscious and the struggle for inner peace. “And I Awoke” is a short film that not only was a long-term project but also laborious as achieving a peace treaty. The concept of the film is based on the two timewise very distant dreams that over the years converged into one narrative. In mid 1990s, the artist made the sketch illustrating his intense dream and write a script for a film of the vivid experience. In his dream, Çavuşoğlu saw himself being suspended in midair with long ropes tightened to his wrists and ankles. Similar to the character in his film, he was resisting, trying to free himself and twisting helplessly in the air. While working on a different film project many years later, Çavuşoğlu was rereading Leo Tolstoy’s A Confession and could not fail to notice that in the final dream sequence of the book, Tolstoy describes a very similar scenario that correlates with the artist’s own dream. In the dream sequence, the writer sees his body entangled in wires lying on a bed that is hanging, suspended in what he defines as ‘infinite space’. Tolstoy admitted that he has written the book at a turning point of the writer’s life, when he was seeking to understand the meaning of life and its moral values, consulting philosophical, religious and scientific texts in the process. The inner struggle and helplessness push him to resist the gravitational force of the suspense and the writer wrote: ‘And it seemed as if someone said to me: “See that you remember.” And I awoke.’ Inevitably the notion of awakening contains a number of larger philosophical questions beyond the context of the artist’s and Tolstoy’s dreams, which was also alluded to the film. The film explores the notion of temporality and the current trend of art production as an immediate response to socio-political and cultural developments and the continuous search for new artistic language and unique approaches of expression. “And I Awoke” also calls for reflection, asking the viewer ‘what can be art’. The artist’s comment is that the rapid developments and the construct of ‘perpetual inventions’ in today’s contemporary art practice do not necessarily equate to progress, and that there is still a need to reconcile with the past in order to map the future.
Ergin Çavusoglu was born in Bulgaria in 1968. He currently lives and works in London.