Reactions is an art project that started in 2010 and focuses on the issues of war, trauma and memory. The artwork’s first presentation was as part of the international exhibition, Through the Roadblocks, staged by NeMe and curated by Antonis Danos and Helene Black at the Evagoras Lanitis Cultural Centre, Limassol, Cyprus.
The project was inspired by the idea of conflict and the legacy of traumatic event. Is there a visual representation able to reject nationalism and body politics? Reactions uses the visuality of chemical formulae to present and question the ‘orderly’ structures and narratives that attempt to provide a logical setting where chaos reigns, a framework where there are inexplicable events, a reasonable explanation where violence represents the abandonment of reason. The artwork is exhibited as a ‘cabinet of curiosities,’ engaging the viewer in a reconstruction of narratives through symbolic elements.
Reactions focuses on the chemical formulae of the body – a visualization of a microscopic narrative – that characterize our existence and are the inherited legacy of traumatic events that lead to nothing other than processes of erosion, despite the alternative narratives of the body politics. The artworks themselves are an erosion of the mythological and an ideal de-construction of the place to return to, that is instead promoted by the ideology and myths constructed by nationalistic body politics.
The artworks present violence and loss as a definitive and permanent scarring of the body and of the landscape. The impossibility of returning back in time leaves the certainty that there is no place to get back to, no home to return to, only the process of erosion and the chemical reactions that, after the trauma, define the re-interpretation of life, memory and biological inheritance.
Project assistants: Zeynep Ozel and Baris Dervent.