The building of the Post features the artwork
Wishing Stone — Dilek Taşları (2021)
supported by SAHA
The installation and performance Wishing Stones is linked to the artist Mehtap Baydu’s childhood memories of a traditional women’s ritual she once had a chance to participate in, but remembers only in part.
During the ritual, Kurdish women would go on journeys and try to make their wishes come true by repeatedly dropping a small stone on the steep surface of a large stone, hoping, against all odds, that their stone will stick to the large surface of the other. The sites of pilgrimage to which women entrusted the secrets of their souls were most often in nature: the source of a river, a cliff face, a hill, a rocky plain, etc.
In those days when Mehtap Baydu took part in this ritual, the very idea of it and the peculiar procedure of conducting it indicated that it was difficult for women to express their true desires, thoughts and feelings. Girls were more willing to trust a stone than their families. However, the ritual also indicated that the society in which they lived was unwilling and unable to satisfy their aspirations and needs.
Memories of this ritual sparked in the artist the need to revive it as a tribute to women’s desires and expectations which, although expressed more openly today, remain unfulfilled.
During the performance stones sent by many women from different countries will be displayed in their integrity and in solidarity with the hidden wishes they carry.
Mehtap Baydu lives and works in Berlin. She is known for her performances and installations. The main themes in her art are gender roles, religious questions, and political issues. She engages the audience in her performances and challenges them with symbolic objects and situations. Baydu’s works have been exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions, including Arter, Istanbul (2019), Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart (2014), and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009). She is presently a resident at the Kulturakademie Tarabya in Istanbul. Kulturakademie Tarabya is a residency program for artists of all genres in Istanbul. It was founded in 2011 on the initiative of the German Bundestag and promotes artistic exchange between Turkey and Germany. The artist continues to work in Berlin and Kassel.
Her works were lately on display at the Fridericianum Museum and Documenta-Halle, Kassel; the Berlin Tanas Gallery’s show Turkish Art: New and Superb.