Broken Constellation focuses on identity, memory and art as relations between aesthetic and political networks. The exhibition, curated by the Zürich based political refugee and activist-artist Nistiman Erdede and organised with artists and curators : Istanbul based Ezgi Bakcay & Feyyaz Yaman and Amed/Diyarbakir based Baris Seyitvan questions the relationships between history, memory and emancipatory political action in the art field. The idea for Broken Constellation emerged out of Erdede’s endeavour to come to terms with his own personal memory by appealing to practices concerned with collective memory, which resulted in his collaboration with Bakcay and Seyitvan. The exhibition can also be considered as an inquiry into the possibility of overcoming the experiences of War and exile through the mediums of art.
The nucleus of the exhibition consists of the memories of 1990’s Turkey and the “Hölle nummer 5” Military Prison nummer 5. Diyarbakir. This prison, one of the brutal torture centers of human history, served as a laboratory for creating the Turkish national identity. Yet the present brutality in Diyarbakir ,Sur, Cizre, Silopi,Nisebîn and other parts of Kurdistan far surpasses the boundaries of this infamous “Hell Number Five”. The cities where Kurds live are under blockade. Violence penetrates from the streets to the interiors of houses; it seizes human lives. Today the country’s East witnesses a cruel war in which people resisting to the fundamental rights.
In a place where the development of the Turkish Republic has seen a process of progress and modernization, Walter Benjamin’s “Angel of Rebirth ” would see nothing but ruin. Yet, it is the same angel who makes us believe that not a single moment in the past exists that does not carry a revolutionary possibility. Our century has a fractured spine. The fracture, which Agamben mentions, makes us contemporaries to all the wars and massacres that have taken place in history. And it is within the darkness of this fracture that future shines to be rescued. We need to redeem the past to change the future. For this reason we must remember and tell.
Art can play an important role in constituting a memory of resistance that serves as an instrument of emancipation. In Broken
Constellation art becomes an aesthetic and political medium that transforms collective memory into a potent form of contemporary