1997 - “ANALOGON” revue surrealist , «Mental Morphology»

République-Chèque

1997 - Edition “L’AMATEUR”, number 72, 1997. 15 exemplars. France

My mother’s salon

Before the second world war my parents were quite rich, but the property of all the jews in Istanbul, like that of the Greeks and Armenians, was confiscated in 1941. After the war, between my young childhood and puberty, my father rented a two-room apartment, with kitchen, in which five family members lived. The salon was as luxurious as an antique store, crowded with furniture and knickknacks (After her separation from my father, my mother was obliged to sell a number of these objects by financial necessity). My bed was hidden inside a lovely sofa in the dark hollow of this room. As a child I was often alone in the house.

Having received my first toy (a doll) rather late, I was used to playing alone with the objects in the salon. The games began with a ceremony: I walked around the big, round, solid oak table in the middle of the room. I nodded at the room. Then I took out all the objects into the enormous eight-doored buffet. I plunged a black African wooden spoon in the solid silver spice jars and the ceramic cups decorated with calligraphy. I imagined there were multicoloured sweets in the spoon, and I distributed tea, coffee and chocolate services to the flat candlesticks, to the lacy bowls. Glassware from Beykos in my hand, I then offered other foods to the hems of canapés, to jars covered in turquoise opaline, decorated with flowers surrounded by gilt, to the gilded wooden armchair with the flowers surrounded by gilt, to the gilded wooden armchair with the violin-shaped back. The fabric of its yellow-silk brocade drank my magic soup. Afterwards I sang lullabyes to blue earthenware cups from Kutahya, to flasks, to chairs with backs sculpted into the heads of lions and eagles, to the ivory Japanese woman who held an umbrella. Then I gave first names (Ipek, Ayshé, Ali, Mehmed…) to the little dark-golden musical instruments, to the steer holding a trumpet surrounded by two nude children with eyes encrusted with brown shapes, to the bronze amazon laying next to a windmill, to the Chinese vases and the tulip timbales. I started to have fun: I dressed up the pitchers, the shakers, the tiger suprising an antelope (in bronze with a green patina), the vermeil and”rat-tail”spoons, and I cleaned them. I made all the objects talk to each other. Then I made every movable object climb, swim, fly and ski.I played Turkish popular music. I placed the tiger, the amazon and the steer on the console above the mirror. I gave them other figurines for companions, notably a nude man in the marble ( the only nude man I had ever seen in my life, with no name, and to whom I didn’t speak), and I rolled coloured glass marbles between these immobile things. I took a Chinese ivory fork, very long, and discovered my back by scratching myself. Then I scraped the divans, the insect-sculpted easy chairs, the greenery and the drapes. I placed a crystal vase on an agate box. Above, I put a cup. Inside the cup, a lower pot, etc…I adored these superimpositions. I admired the balances thus created. I blew lightly on it. At other times my games were more contemplative. I knew by heart the position of light and shadow in the salon, by season and hour. Through a silver spoon, pierced by tiny holes, like a little sieve, which I made move, I looked at the rugs the tapestries and the image of two large chinese vases, taller than I. Seen through the moving sieve the images were fragmented. I got on top of the round table. The crystals of the candlestick, shaped like fat teardrops, and the part of the candlestick shaped like swans, brought me to the Water County. I made the pieces of crystal touch each other so I could see better. I didn’t look at myself in the mirror, but regarded everything there was on the frame, between the golden leaves, especially the babies and the naked women. From the windows, I saw the neighbourhood of Taksim. Sitting on one of the arms of the armchair, I imagined driving a bus and the people in the street took their places beside me.

COMMENTARY

To me it seems that in myself, the woken dream, spontaneous imagination and semi – controlled hallucination have developed rather than lessened with age. I continue to practice my childhood games almost constantly, and more intensely, but in a visual and interiorised manner.

I constantly transform the mineral and living worlds. I lend eyes and mouth to everything that exist. Imaginary relationships spontaneously establish themselves between everything that exist. When I was five or six adult disapproval could come at any moment, if they opened the door on my fabulous world. Today, however, my games have more replaced than left place for the “reasonable” world.

Therefore I live in a state of permanent hallucination which for many others would mean madness. This causes me only problems throughout my days. I simply combine these spontaneous hallucinations with an independent and creative life, with no relation to an alienated life or that of a child.

This development can be partially found in my drawings an water-colours.

I play with mythic characters, objects which fascinate me, mammals, plants, birds, human bodies and everything which surround me, as if I were playing with the antique objects in my mother’s old salon. Seeing as I was very careful not to damage or break my mother’s objects, it is doubtless no accident that I have chosen a very fragile material, a translucent, even transparent, paper, for my water-colours and drawings. The accumulation which characterised my mother’s salon, and the anthropomorphism which I lent it, can also be found there. (In my canvases, each element is much more considered, and the plentiful world of my mother’s salon appears less directly). That every creator uses his childhood world for his creation is well known. However, the challenge is to guard the magic of childhood also, to take control and go beyond the primary fascination of this childish world, oppressed and imposed in large part by one’s peer group, to go search in another direction. The movement and interest of my work is to get rid all nostalgia, all obligatory attachment to the past, to fly and be captured, to be interpreted by myself again.