Strange Creature

video installation

Duration: 3'52", loop

 

Although, "Strange Creature" appears to be a simple description of heaven and a different narrative on creation; the main problematic of the work is to be the other. In this work, to be other is based on being woman and/or being eastern.

In this simple story of creation, the only created being appears to be a woman which is totally irrelevant according to the three main religions.

The woman, is not a part of something but a totality in herself. Strange Creature, does not include 'the forbidden fruit', 'the appeal to sin' or 'committing a sin'. Contrary to the expectations, there appears no man to share the apple with or the snake does not play role in the appeal of committing the sin. The audience is all along with a  description of heaven and strange creatures. The creatures fly, smuggle, run or walk as their nature is for. The woman as the strange creature, urges and insists on the continuation of her life, thus keeps eating.

The work receives its title from the book of Kazvini titled " Acaib'ül Mahlukat ve Garaib'ül Mevcudat”(1)
and referrences to this book contentwise.

In the work, we see animals that are familiar as well as fiction characters. The most important of all the fiction animals is Simurg.

Simurg, is the name for 30 birds who are in search for themselves. Simurg live on the mythical mountain on the far end of the world, never stops flying; eats once in a year, lives for 100 years, can carry an elephant with its paw and its eggs are as big as a mountain. Simurg is the source of knowledge and ability. In the historical writings such as Sehname, Kisas-i Enbiya and Kur'an, we come across with mentioning of fiction creatures like Anka(2)
, Hüma, Hüthüt (3). Through the stories that has been written on Simurg, the most interesting story appears to be this one: One day Simurg was passing over the Chinese Land, a feather falls off. Everyone produces a different painting, hand craft from that feather. The people who see these productions gets involved in a job or starts a job. That feather is now in Chinese Nigara. For this reason, the saying: " Search for the knowledge as far as you can go, although you
will find it in China". All these works, have been produced by the light of that feather, all the lights found body from the one single pattern on that feather.

The work, has been formed throught taking parts from miniatures. From the part titled " The expelling of Adam and Eve from Heaven" of the  book Falname, the description of snake and fau has been taken as well as Simurg and some other animals' descriptions have been taken from  the part titled " Prophet Süleyman and the Queen Belkis" of the same book.





[1] This book is assumed to be written in 1595 and said that the book
contains knowledge of animals, creatures. plants, geograpy and space.

[2] phoneix
[3] hoopoe, hoopooo