05.01.2024 - 22.03.2024

Merve Ünsal

5 January 2024 – 22 March 2024


Intimations comprises three new works by Merve Ünsal. Positioned amidst acts of transmission, broadcasting, and conveying, the exhibition seeks to cause leaks from the inside to the outside and vice versa.

Intimations is a sculptural instrument installed in the airshaft of the building adjacent to the exhibition space. Turning AVTO into a transmission area, this work emits radio waves and broadcasts once a day. Through the vibrations of plastic materials, this faulty instrument located in the airshaft, a porous and binding space at the core of the building, conveys a sound collage that mixes and mashes the speculative histories of Kazancı Yokuşu Street and its environs. A text addressed to the second-person singular, composed of the inner voices of living beings or immaterial entities, leaks outside through radio waves from the building gap. The same instrument apparatus is also used as a collecting,  broadcasting, and transmission device. The temporary assembly of discarded and second-hand objects embodying the work aims to explore cognitive and sensory possibilities opened up by such infrastructures and situations in a rough yet direct manner, in accord with the nature of objects.

Derived from the artist’s encounter with a sinkhole in, Obruk Plateau, Konya, Between Breaths serves as a record of a happening. Reflecting on the decline in underground water levels due to uncontrolled groundwater consumption, Merve interprets the ensuing sinkholes as manifestations of delusion, inward collapse, and surface withdrawal. Events commonly categorized as “disasters,” such as drought and thirst, contribute to the formation of these karstic landforms, resembling the collapse of ceilings within cavities formed over time by soluble rocks underground. Merve’s text, scribed through channeling and listening to the earth, intertwines personal, social, temporal, and historical collapses and disasters. Deliberately edited to not have any punctuation and capitalization, the text attempts to evoke moments when language comes to fail and intersects with the spatial collapses designed by the artist on paper through its situation within the layout. The sound recording documenting moments chanted during the happening melds the collapse of the earth and the inability to trace individual agencies.

“Direct Sound, Reverse Image” converts the image of the street, captured through a mechanism akin to a camera obscura, into sound. Electronic voice phenomena, which are considered to make audible ghosts through words and brief sentences heard in sound recordings are converged with field recordings from the Kazancı Yokuşu to draw on and to recall memories of this particular space. Marking the transition from image to sound as a milestone in Merve’s practice, this work is an homage to Cengiz Çekil’s 1980 work “Reverse Image.”

Special thanks to supporters and contributors: Lamarts, Sevim Sancaktar, Acar Yeisli, Gizem Bengisu Erenler, Erdal Şahin, and Arda Küçükada.