With this work, I attempted to make my own talisman series and continue to investigate the tenacious relationship between objects, beliefs and the desire to control random irrational events, the human desire to understand and manipulate the unknowable. The word talisman might originate from the Greek word ‘telein’ that means to complete or perform while in English it refers to any object possessing a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions. For the materialization of this work, I formulated rules that required the completion of a ritualistic process that would transform found materials into magical objects possessing social meaning and value. The finished ‘talisman’ are in fact the documentation of a ritualistic process.
- All materials must have been found by chance.
- All objects must be hand crafted.
- Materialization of the objects must involve intense dialogue between the artist and the maker of the objects.
- Each object must contain at least one image of an eye, often believed to be the entrance to the soul and also perhaps references the belief in ‘evil eye’.
- The objects must be made from wood, a natural material, but a piece that shows age and traces of a former life.
- The wood must be altered using fire, insecticide, and carving.
When exhibited, if the spectator believes these objects possess occult or magical properties, if they feel drawn to them, if they endow them with value, the work will be completed.
text by Nancy Atakan