Kiymet Dastan: I Am Afraid To (Not) Forget / Oblivion Stones series (2019 ) Memory Burn 1- 9 (2020)

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

I Am Afraid To (Not) Forget

2019 (Ongoing project)

Kiymet Dastan's work has been featured recently as part of the exhibition "Crystal Clear", which is taking place at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, which will end on March 20. The exhibition was curated by Elena Sorokina, and featured works from 20 artists "from different countries and generations who engage with the questions of transparency and opacity, earth and de-growth, and the extractive logic that we have to challenge. Created in the context of the pandemic, the question of sustainability in artistic and curatorial practices became central for the exhibition, affecting changes in its structure and choices of material the artists would use." (From the museum brief). The conceptual framework of "Crystal Clear" is based on the history, qualities, and uses of crystals and other minerals throughout time, and their uses in all areas of human activity, "from science and magic to technology and healing. They constitute a perfect emblem for the fluid and porous borders between animate and inanimate, organic and inorganic."

Here, we are featuring two of Kymet's projects from this exhibition, titled "I Am Afraid To (Not) Forget/Oblivion Stones Series" (2019) and "Memory Burn 1-9" (2020).

Oblivion Stones series (2019 -)

Optical media (type-7 plastic, aluminum, silver, gold)

Dimensions variable

The valuable stone-like forms used in melting the discs were obtained from the waste brought in from ancient ruins to fill Beirut’s coastline. Through those gestures of deformation and reconstruction, what is created is a new object loaded with forgotten memories, which I call Oblivion Stone. Produced in Istanbul, the new pieces (Oblivion Stones) were realized by using the forms of the stones I have collected from selected regions in Turkey so as to trace the erased and misrepresented collective memories within geological forms. In addition, as the continuation of the Memory Burn series, which documents the heat-induced deformation of the material of discs, whose smooth surface must be preserved and that should be kept away from heat as long as memory is stored on them, a video work is presented, featuring different kinds of optical disks, including archival grade disks composed of rare metals such as gold and silver.

The project uses the stone form as a guide in shaping the works and draws on the metaphor of a shell to speak about form itself. It also questions the meanings associated with creating a “precious” stone form and plays with the idea of values attached to commercial or cultural artefacts. What is left behind from destruction? In Jac