The Relationship Between Art and Memory: Canan Tolon and Sarkis ZabunyanHülya Karaçalı Annepçioğlu, Cüneyt Kurt
In this study, the relationship between memory and art is discussed in Turkey’s leading contemporary art in the framework of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan. Both artists have produced works in which we can clearly see the relationship between memory and art through the contribution of their architectural education. Based on their backgrounds, they have been working in an experimental style in the context of memory, time, moment, location and trace. The article focuses on the works of Tolon and of Sarkis. A descriptive assessment was made by using literature research and the examination method. In this context, the aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between memory and art in the works of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan. In light of this information, it is concluded that experiences in memory are indeed reflected in their works of art and that the effect of memory on the creation process cannot be ignored.
Bellek ve Sanat İlişkisi: Canan Tolon ve Sarkis ZabunyanHülya Karaçalı Annepçioğlu, Cüneyt Kurt
Bu çalışmada Türkiye’nin önde gelen çağdaş sanatçılarından Canan Tolon ve Sarkis Zabunyan çerçevesinde bellek ve sanat ilişkisi ele alınmıştır. Her iki sanatçı, mimari eğitimlerinin de katkısıyla mekân üzerinden bellek ve sanat ilişkisini net bir şekilde görebileceğimiz çalışmalar üretmişlerdir. Kendi geçmişlerinden yola çıkarak bellek, zaman, anı, mekân, iz gibi konular çerçevesinde çalışmalarını deneysel bir şekilde sürdürmüşlerdir. Makalede Tolon’un ve Sarkis’in çalışmaları üzerinde durulmuştur. Literatür araştırması ve inceleme yöntemi kullanılarak betimsel bir değerlendirme yapılmıştır. Bu bağlamda çalışmanın amacı, Canan Tolon ve Sarkis Zabunyan üzerinden bellek ve sanat ilişkisini incelemektir. Bu bilgiler ışığında bellekte yer alan deneyimlerin sanat eserine yansıdığı, belleğin yaratım sürecine etkisinin göz ardı edilemeyecek derecede güçlü olduğu neticesine varılmıştır.
Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan are two artists who have an important place in both the national and international art world. This article surveys the work of these two important artists to reveal their relationship with memory. In this study, written and visual document analysis from qualitative data collection methods were used. Exhibitions, books and articles were scanned as sources of data collection and the data was interpreted descriptively. Although the works of Sarkis have been associated with memory countless times, the fact that Canan Tolon’s works are dealt with in this article can be considered as a novelty he brought to the field. The article is limited to certain studies of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan in order to examine the relationship between memory and art more clearly. In post-industrial society, the crisis of time perception, which replaced the future orientations, directed the individual/ artist to hold onto memory. In the works of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan, which are among these artists, we will see the relationship between personal narratives and memory in art. It would be appropriate to touch upon some explanations of the concept of memory before discussing how individual experiences and memory shape the work of these two artists. In antiquity, rhetoric and representation have been the most important elements of art that feed memory. Over time, memory tools have undergone technical and technological evolution. This evolution has gained another dimension with the invention of writing, printing and photography. These are technical and technological advances. In this context, the reason for the growing interest in the concept of memory is based on modernization processes. The speed created by industry, technological progress, changed people’s perception of time and shortened the time to experience things. These factors make it difficult to retain information in our memories. Moreover, two major wars, nuclear disasters, genocides and mass migrations in the 20th century reduced people’s hopes for the future. Especially since the 80s and 90s, this has been discussed intensively in both personally and social context by artists not only in Turkey but also globally with the memory issue such as history, past, memory, identity, ownership. Reconstruction, documentation, recollection, memory of space and personal memory have been frequently used by artists. In this context, our subjects on memory are two important artists who are accepted in the national and international framework; Canan Tolon and Sarkis. Memory; it regenerates according to time, space, object, smell, light, sound, and recreates its sensory and emotional existence. The ambiguity and blurry inherent in memory re-establishes itself in new memories and waits for the artists to emerge again in their next work. The problem of forgetfulness that emerged with the industrial revolution led the artists to work on the subject of memory. After the industrial revolution, in today’s world where new technologies and social traumas are experienced, the individual/artist feels the need to hold on to his memory. The emergence of new temporalities and hopeful prospects for the future turned into a crisis of time perception, and this crisis increased interest in memory and remembering. In this context, it will not be wrong to say that the artists consciously hide the events they have experienced, the subjects they have learned, their relationship with the past in their minds and reflect this in their works to the extent they want. In the works of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan, who are two immigrant artists, explanations about the personal and cultural elements in their personal memory are interpreted to mobilize the memory of the audience. As a result of the analysis of the data obtained in this context, it was concluded that the experiences in the memory of the two artists were reflected in the work of art, and the effect of memory on the creation process was so strong that it could not be ignored. In short, the works of Canan Tolon and Sarkis were examined in terms of the relationship between memory and art. In the framework of Canan Tolon and Sarkis Zabunyan, the relationship of personal narratives to memory and the way personal experiences shape the works of these two artists have been covered sufficiently. Memory, the common point between these two artists, was the main focus of the study. In his works, Sarkis studied the phenomenon of memory more directly by means of objects, while Canan Tolon was the subject of indirect works by abstract expressions. Both artists combined time in memory with time of place and audience. In this way, they created a loop that is past and present. The ready-made objects used by the artists represented the flow from the past to the future. In short, it is clear that personal memory influences artists’ artistic practices and allows for alternative forms of representation rich in art. In general, memory is a phenomenon in the production of Canan Tolon and Sarkis. In the works of both artists, we can see the memory, the memory of the object and the memory of the space, as well as the personal memory. Various aspects such as the relationship of each study with another and the memory of the audience are involved.