Witness Series: Aşıklı Höyük

Anita Taylor (Artist)

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


    The Witness Series: Aşıklı Höyük comprise 6 large format drawings (240cm x 153cm each) plus ancillary drawings developed in response to the Neolithic settlement, Aşıklı Höyük, as a participant in the 'An Intercultural Dialogue Through Art & Archaeology' project led by the Friends of Aşıklı Höyük (NGO) funded by the Grant Scheme for Common Cultural Heritage: Preservation and Dialogue between Türkiye and the EU–II (CCH-II) implemented by the T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the financial support of the European Union.

    During the thee year project, Taylor became specifically interested in obsidian, found in abundance on the site, and its use as a reflective surface, and as a mirror in early civilisations; how its properties could be used similarly to that of the ‘Claude glass’ (or black mirror) as a device used by artists and travellers as a reducing glass to apprehend and experience landscape and place, or, as she soon realised, to be able to see a reflection of the self for the first time in something that could be held in the hand: an early mirror. Another significant find on the site is of a female skull bearing evidence of trepanism, a form of early brain surgery, undertaken with obsidian drills.

    The drawings respond to the traces of human presence at Asikli Hoyuk with obsidian forming the lens through which to see, observe and perceive the site anew. Through drawing, and the engagement with histories and narratives of sites deepened the understanding, knowledge, connection and conversation across time and place, site and experience. Using solely charcoal on paper (amorphous carbon in common with the human beings and presences these drawings depict), the drawings locate, distil and form an equivalent to these subjects; through the accretion of charcoal dust, and the making and removal of traces and histories, these drawings form their own ‘archaeologies’. Presented as a sequence of drawings that interspersed drawings of the self, made with the aid of an obsidian mirror in the present, and drawings of the found skull bearing evidence of surgical intervention.
    Original languageOther
    Media of outputOther
    Size 6 drawings, each c240cm x 153cm
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022
    EventKazi Izleri / Lines of Site: Özgül Arslan, Eva Bosch, Şahin Domin, Ahmet Rüstem Ekici, Leyla Emadi, Stephen Farthing, Murat Germen, Osman Nuri İyem, Blanca Moreno, Dillwyn Smith, Hakan Sorar, Anita Taylor, Emre Zeytinoğlu. Curated by Fırat Arapoğlu & Gary Sangster - Historical Hüsrev Kethüda Hammam in Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey
    Duration: 4 Feb 202227 Feb 2022

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