Sinem Dişli, Cereyan

In 2015, while visiting my hometown of Urfa, Turkey for my ongoing project Cereyan [Currents], which focuses on the activity of industrial agriculture consortiums along the Euphrates, I found myself re-exposed to the seasonal ritual of preparing bread dough, a mastered art passed on from generation to generation in the form of motions, sounds, and smells. I remember how it felt to be drawn back to this repertoire of familiarity, which evoked within me a sense of involuntary rootedness.


The process involves collective labour. According to tradition, every month or so, members of four different families gather in a backyard to prepare a new batch of bread. Each house in the community keeps on hand the ingredients and implements for making the bread: yeast and flour, rolling pin and dough board, and wood for stoking the fire. There are no hard-and-fast rules to adhere to. Handled with a palmful of salt, the sour-smelling dough is kneaded until it is ‘soft as an earlobe’. Via fermentation, the lump grows larger; with experience, one learns how the dough behaves. Once it has been baked, the bread—circular, about a meter in diameter—is divided equally among the families who participated in the process. In the end, each hand-moulded bread yields a unique form, and another singular image of nature has been created.


Although I was born and raised in this region, every visit back leads me to ponder even further how I relate to my homeland. Here, shepherds voice their own language to guide their sheep, and the sounds they utter transcend verbalisation. On these windswept hills, they bed down with their flock. When they roam far afield, they chart their way back home by stars and rocky outcrop. Attuned to the cyclical rhythms of the mountains, shepherd and sheep become one. Observing them from a distance, I cannot help but dwell on the misguided policies of a far-reaching government, the systematic slaughter of animals by industry, and the slow fade of a thousand-year-old tradition.

Sinem Dişli (b. 1982, Turkey) earned her BA in sculpture from DokuzEylül University and her MA in photography from Marmara University. Between 2005 and 2008, she worked in the photography department at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. In 2008, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the School of Visual Arts in New York. In addition to four solo exhibitions—İntiba, Sürgün, Cereyan, and Rutubet—she has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions throughout Europe and the US. In 2015, Dişli participated in the Triangle Arts Association and ISCP residency programs. She is a co-founder of the independent artist-run space Ayzart, in New York, and of TOZ / Artist Run Space and HER HÂL Kolektif, both in Istanbul.


Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
pl. Szczepański 3a


26.04.2019, 6 pm

Exhibition open:

Tue–Sun 11.00–19.00


6 PLN / 12 PLN

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