While the Dust Quickly Falls

11.06.2022 > 02.10.2022

curated by Kari Conte in collaboration with Kerstin Flasche and Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz
Kunsthaus Dresden

In While the Dust Quickly Falls, artist Fatma Bucak asks us to consider how political violence accelerates environmental destruction and climate change.

Bucak engaged in fieldwork across the Mediterranean region for this research-based exhibition. The exhibition moves across disparate geographies – Eastern Anatolia, the Golan Heights, Damascus, Sardinia, Baghdad, and Istanbul – connected by the catastrophic impact that conflict and war has had on their ecologies. It dwells on endangered and extinct plants and the non-human in new works from this year such as A Tree, which is composed of thousands of burned organic remnants from last summer’s Mediterranean forest fires. After these fires the soil became infertile – a transformation which is central to the exhibition. In the sound installation Numbing silence covers us like fine dust, Bucak reveals the political implications of these fires and the sounds of emptiness that reverberate through barren earth. Sum of the misdeeds and consents and cowardly acts casts ten endangered birds in bronze that inhabit Iraq, conceptually based on a Mesopotamian ‘duck weight’ looted from Iraq during the war two decades ago. A living garden archive features hundreds of poisonous plants that have been used in small amounts for healing human illnesses throughout history.

The exhibition filling the entire galleries of the Kunsthaus, brings together six expansive installations developed explicitly for the project alongside three previous works. The project is Bucak’s first solo exhibition in Germany, and features a living environment, video, sculpture, mosaic, and sound works. A performance will take place during the opening.

Fatma Bucak’s project developed in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Dresden won the support of the Italian Council (9th Edition, 2020), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture. The new works will enter the permanent collection of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

Fatma Bucak, born in 1984 in Turkey, lives and works in London and Turin. Investigating the fragility, tension and irreversibility of history, the power of testimony and memory, her practice often questions traditional forms of history-making as well as cultural and gender norms.

Photo: Fatma Bucak, They burned it all, 2022, © Fatma Bucak


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