For her first solo show in Mexico, Turkish artist Aslı Çavuşoğlu continues her latest project TunState, a multidisciplinary research project initiated in 2018 that traces connections across regions and examines the ways in which lifeforms adapt to endure hostile conditions. The exhibition is named after a biological process called “tun state”, where microscopic organisms known as tardigrades suspend all metabolic functions; a metaphor for resistance, resilience, and regeneration.
The works focus on the histories and material transformations of several species of trees from diverse geographic locations. During research trips to the Sonoran Desert, the artist collected bark fragments of the bursera fagaroides tree and, working with a paper restorer, they processed them into handmade paper to draw on. The salvaged bark of the bursera fagaroides recurs across works in the exhibition in combination with handmade paper, leather, and obsidian, natural materials that embody specific histories, processes, and temporalities of transformation. Connecting the landscape of the Americas to her native environment, she has used the pinus brutia or red pine, a tree which grows in the Eastern Mediterranean, to dye fabric and produce suspended columns, relinking the work to the material from which it was made. Through these works, Çavuşoğlu highlights the ways cultures around the world have transformed material forms for utilitarian or symbolic purposes against extinction and existence.
Aslı Çavuşoğlu (Istanbul, 1982) examines the way in which cultural and historical facts are transformed, represented, and interpreted by individuals. Working across various media, Çavuşoğlu often assumes the role of an interpreter, writer or facilitator in her projects in order to highlight the precarious and subjective nature of our shared histories. Recent solo shows include TunState, Associazione Barriera, Turin (2022); Pink as a Cabbage / Green as an Onion / Blue as an Orange, Kadist, Paris (2020); With Just the Push of a Voice, MASS MoCA, Massachusetts (2020); and The Place of Stone, New Museum, New York (2018), among others. She has been included in group exhibitions and biennials at Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2020), Manifesta 11 (Zurich, 2016), 14th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2015), and the New Museum Triennial (New York, 2015). Her works are included in international collections such as Arter (Istanbul), British Museum (London), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), MATHAF (Qatar), MoMA (New York) and Kadist (Paris / San Francisco). She received the FULL Art Prize in 2012 and was nominated for the 2017 Future Generation Art Prize.
Organized by Museo Jumex. Curated by Marielsa Castro Vizcarra, Associate Curator, and Cindy Peña, Curatorial Assistant, Museo Jumex.
Installation view Asli Çavuşoğlu: TunState. Museo Jumex, 2023. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.