Amar Kılıç / Hilal Yaşlı

Amar is one of the founders of the 13 Metrekare Art Collective. He is the coordinator for the video, editing and montage projects of the collective. He takes part in the photography and video projects of Mardin Museum. He is producing photography and short documentaries within the CULTIVA Project organised by the British Council, History Foundation and Mardin Museum and aiming to raise awareness on the intangible cultural heritage of the region. Personally, Amar’s documentary work is concentrated on cultural and traditional rituels besides the daily living practices of Doms (gipsies living in the Middle East), Koçers (nomads living in the southeast and east of Turkey), Yazidies, Assyrians, Kurds and Arabs. He participated in the Daire artist-in-residency program of the K2 Contemporary Art Association in 2019.


Hilal Yaşlı

Hilal Yaşlı apprenticed for a jewelry atelier, during the vacations when he was a primary school student. He trained filigree under İsa Şahin, Tuma Yaşlı and İlya Ezilmez. Master Hilal established his own jewelry workshop when he was 16, and until today, he has been designing and producing custom gold filigree modernizing traditional motifs.


FILIGREE

Filigree is the art of treating gold and silver strings by folding and melting. Filigree art is based on fine handwork, and formed almost like lacework. The art is used to produce ornamental items and jewelry for men and women, besides items for home decoration. It has been developed by Assyrians living in Artuklu and Midyat Provinces of Mardin, which are acknowledged as the homeland of the art of filigree. Today, a limited number of filigree masters carry on their work in order to secure the future of filigree in this age of technology.  The master of masters of filigree, Süphi Hindiyerli’s words “ Filigree is an aesthetic unity which stitches the mythological beauty in the depths of history to the hearts”, are influencing the young filigree masters of today to pursue this tradition.

Once Upon a Time Up There

“Yet, when up there was not named the sky,

Down here was not called the earth…”

Babylonian epic of creation is important because it is associated with the Assyrian New Year Festival, “Akitu”. This epic which is known by the name “Enûma Eliş”, meaning “once upon a time up there” has also turned into a ceremonial form as a poem and a song. This project is constructed upon this story which symbolizes the emergence of the being, by narrating Marduk, the protective goddess of Babylon, dividing Tiamat’s body into two and one part dispersing up to form the sky and the other turning into the earth.

The birth of Euphrates and Tigris, that pass through Mesopotamia like a crawling snake,  from the eyes of Tiamat in the narrative, indicates the association of Babylonian epic of creation with this geography. Mesopotamian plane which is being fed by the waters of Euphrates and Tigris, and recreates itself continuously like a snake sloughing its own skin, greens in the eyes of Tiamat. This narrative that is symbolized by a snake figure, also bases upon the powerful allegorical narrations of snakes in the mythological narratives, referring to existence and nonexistence.

Readings and conceptual content that jewelry creates upon the body, in this project, is about the bodiliness of Tiamat that refers to “existence”. The idealized body of a woman that is represented by the photographic image, meets up with the snake motifs that symbolize the narrative.