KARL Gallery | Exhibitions, KARL Gallery has been established by KARL Institute in 2014 as a part of its not-for-profit activities, with the aim to carry out various projects and programs in the field of art..., Art, Photography, Contemporary, Painting, Exhibition, Gallery, Beyoglu, Taksim, Istanbul, Emre Ünal
18 - 24/09/2014
What does Scrap Project propose? The transformation of objects into the things!

In his ‘Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’, Jacques Lacan mentions a story belonging to his teenage years, known as the story of the sardine tin: Lacan went fishing with some fishermen from a local village. One of the fishermen points something floating in the sea. The object is sparkling as the sun mirrors off it. It is a sardine tin, a can which once contained the kind of fish they are trying to catch. The fisherman cries to Lacan: ‘You see that can? Do you see it? Well, it doesn’t see you!’ Although the fisherman found the incident highly amusing, Lacan was very disturbed by this. On thinking about it, he decided that the source of this anxiety was the fact that the fisherman was wrong: the can was, in fact, looking at him, but it was the fisherman who did not see him (1).

With this story, Lacan suggests a similar reference of Nietzsche’s aphorism “When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” (2) : If you gaze into objects long enough, objects also gazes into us, the compositions they create, their colours, textures, and with the context they are mediated, they touch our past experiences. If not literally, but metaphorically they talk to us and tell their stories. At this very moment, objects are transformed into things that relate to us.

It is difficult to isolate objects from the processes which they belong. As one can find traces of the process by looking at the end-products, it is also possible to understand the process by looking at it’s remnants. Scrap Project exhibits these remnants of printing process, which already lost their functions and is invisible to most people. Thus, like Marcel Proust says “It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must die.” (3). Thus, we know the stories of those objects so we get the impression of the happening of those stories.

This project encourages the growing power of our relationship with the objects. Besides, like John Cage mentions the objects appeared as “formless” to us and even the objects that we regard as “trash” have aesthetic value in themselves (4). In addition, Joseph Beuys says every object can be aesthetically and conceptually thematized as an art object (5).

In brief, beyond being a thesis project, ‘Hurda/Scrap” invites us to witness the objects and let them become the ‘things’ for us by telling their stories.

Mustafa Ercan Zırh

1) The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan, Éditions du Seuil, 1973
2) Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886, Aphorism 146
3) Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way, 1913
4) “The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I feel it’s not beautiful? And very shortly you discover there is no reason.”, John Cage
5) “Everybody is an artist, everything is art.”, Joseph Beuys
SCRAP, 2014