These are not Fables, Children

Ekin Saçlıoğlu

4 March - 1 April 2017

Opening: March 4 2017, 4 - 7 pm

From March 4 to April 1 2017, Galata Greek School will be hosting Ekin Saçlıoğlu’s 8th solo exhibition.

Saçlıoğlu’s exhibition titled ‘These Are Not Fables, Children’ features currently extinct species that had inhabited the earth for millions of years, animals believed to have remained extinct but still struggling to exist and the stories of many others including living fossil plants.

With the exhibition featuring drawings, paintings, sculptures, plants, algae and various installations, Saçlıoğlu transforms the Galata Greek School into an open book that has a remarkable place in the memory of the children, by referencing its past, chasing both known and unknown losses, and inviting the viewer to enter a living fable.

In her narratives based on true stories, the artist addresses, through endangered species, the history of nature – human relationship up to the present and the concepts of existence and extinction.

The humans’ urge to take selfies with slaughtered animals, giving way to a destructive show of strength with the desire to control wildlife as a perceived threat inspires Saçlıoğlu’s paintings. Species coming from different time frames but sharing a similar past, ranging from the Anatolian Leopard long considered extinct to the Anatolian Lynx with a very limited population appear before us.

The 1/1 scale replica of the shell belonging to ‘Lonely George’, a tortoise that died in 2012 as the only example of his kind, can be taken as a metaphor about ‘disappearance’ and ‘leaving home’.

While the Anatolian leopard depicted in an 1800-year-old ancient relief inspires one of the artist’s sculptures, another work in the exhibition refers to the Northern White Rhinoceros, of whom only three are left in the world. The rhinos’ portraits individualize them as human beings.

‘These Are Not Fables, Children’ may tell to the absent students of the school and the viewers that these visual stories are not fables, but it also underlines the fact that all these narratives are based on certain metaphors and allegories we occasionally need more often than in other times to express certain realities.

These are not fables indeed, but the stories do not belong solely to animals either…