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Islands

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Islands, from 2005, an installation consisting of five drawings each accompanied by an individual story, and photographs of ten three-dimensional models of the drawings. These model islands were produced from basic materials, such as plaster and polystyrene. Çavuşoğlu launched the islands into the sea and photographed them drifting on the water. She focused her attention on the role that islands have within history, including all their associated legends and myths. The common denominator that linked Çavuşoğlu’s fictitious islands was that they were very well-described, both geographically and environmentally, with a full description of their surface area, vegetation and so on. She also merged the rational aspects of geography and economics with the more utopian, fanciful characteristics often associated with islands.

Pelin Uran, from the text titled The Real Must Be Fictionalized In Order to be Thought commissioned for Mercury in Retrograde.

In the 16th century, whenever a painter set to draw a map of the world his wife would tell him: “darling, why don’t you put an island around here, an island that belongs only to me?” and the painter would obediently fulfill his deed. Hence, such islands were abundant on the maps of those times. For instance, the famous English admiral Sir Francis Drake, on his way home back from his victorious raid on the Spanish Armada in 1588, gets hold of a map from the Spanish. While he studies the map he sees an island on his way and intends to refresh his fresh-water supply from that island, and he asks a Spaniard prisoner about this island. The Spaniard smiles and says “I don’t think you will ever find that island. It must have been put on that map for the sake of the Signora.” . . . . . In our days when all the seas of the world have been discovered and cartography has become a branch of science based on delicate mathematical calculations, no island that is not actually there has been shown on any maps. As Walter de la Mare put it: “how sad that cartography has become such an accurate work…”

Aksit GOKTURK

“Island” in the English Literature, Yapı Kredi Publishings, Istanbul, 2004