24.05.2024 - 31.08.2024

Betül Aksu

Betül Aksu’s exhibition, Permessus, examines the remnants of an ancient city with an unknown history and undefined borders. The exhibition delves into the cultural, social, and political systems that normalize the concept of borders.

The name of the ancient city, Permessus, gives its name to the exhibition. It originates from the Italian word “permesso” (permission), which is used as an abbreviation for residence permits. Betül conducts a mental excavation in the ruins of Permessus to explore the everyday limitations caused by the permits she applied for to work in Italy and the UK. According to her findings, there is no need for formal procedures to enter Permessus. The city is accessible to anyone who follows their imagination and intuitions, thanks to the fluid interpretation of permission and boundary concepts by its governance.  

The content of the exhibition comprises installations, a video, memorabilia collected by the artist over the years, texts, printed materials, and photographs taken during visits to ancient cities. The works indicate that the discovery of Permessus is not merely about unearthing physical remnants from the ground, rather it suggests that by following both knowledge and emotions, it is possible to reach different layers of the remains.

In the exhibition, Betül uses a chatbot that serves as a guide to process her findings, raising questions about the reliability of information dissemination channels. Through this reimagination of the past in the form of Permessus, she aims to investigate potential changes to existing borders by imagining a scenario that has not yet occurred but could feasibly happen.