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Ergin Çavuşoğlu: new video installation commissioned for the 4th Çanakkale Biennial
27 September – 2 November 2014. Çanakkale, Turkey.

Ergin Çavuşoğlu: new video installation commissioned for the 4th Çanakkale Biennial

Lundy, Louis, Barge and Troy 2014

Prof Ergin Çavuşoğlu's Lundy, Louis, Barge and Troy is a two-channel video and sound installation that was commissioned and produced in 2014 for the 4th International Çanakkale Biennial. The conceptual framework is twofold: one screen presents the shipwrecks of the fleet of the Allies that were sunk in the approach to the strait of Dardanelles in Turkey during the ‘Gallipoli Campaign’ of World War One. The second video channel shows the bustle of contemporary vessels crisscrossing the blue waters above.

The work’s title is composed of the names of the ships and the edit of the footage implies that the battleships perished along the same axis one following the other. The camera tracks slowly over the length of the shipwrecks thus revealing them from an unfamiliar bird’s eye perspective. Their decaying remnants are both hauntingly beautiful and menacing. We cannot escape thoughts about the circumstances of their ill fate. However the work does not attempt to illustrate or narrate these uncontrollable conditions and acts of war. Instead, through a very particular filming technique of vertically scanning the seabed and the waters above, the work endeavours to signify the importance of the act of sombre remembrance and reconciliation. This is further emphasized by the installation that presents the cinematic footage over two large vertically positioned and set apart angled screens thus acting like gates of heaven and hell, past and present.

Lundy, Louis, Barge and Troy represents another instalment of Çavuşoğlu’s work in the pursuit of themes of estrangement seen earlier in Downward Straits (2004). The liminal zone of the strait that separates East from West at the Bosphorus is now repositioned along the vertical axis looking down and upwards, so as to imply a proactive space between existence and non-existence. This inversion of space acts simultaneously as a point of reflection and spatial displacement.