In Long Ago Person Found (2015), Çavusoglu reflects upon the ways that human remains—particularly of populations that have been persecuted—are transformed when they become study objects in archives or museum collections. Here, Çavusoglu’s connects the unidentified remains of many populations from around the world, including those discovered in mass graves in Turkey and those of Native Americans in the United States. When the remains of Native Americans are found, they are customarily collected in archaeological boxes and stored until their identities can be proven—a prolonged process that often includes a protracted court procedure. For this installation, Çavusoglu presents recreations of the containers that hold these human fragments. Atop the empty boxes are objects—necklaces, combs, and flutes, among others—which together serve as a monument to the lives of those whose remains persist in obscurity.*
Installation with Apache Tears gemstones, bone ash, bone black pigment, camel bone, cattle bone, cedar wood, gold, modelling clay, glass, marble, ceramic, bronze, resin, wax. Commissioned by The New Museum with the support of SAHA.