The Great Trip is an ongoing artwork consisting of two related photograph series; Erasing the Past Retrospectively (2016) and No Man’s Land (2016), created of found images derived from family albums of emigrant families of Bulgarian origin. Erasing the Past Retrospectively borrows a micro section from the assimilation policy of the Bulgarian state and talks about a minority family’s chronological extinguishment through seven photographs, each one representing a situation in which they had found themselves and the gradual and systematic attacks towards their identity between 1956 and 1989. The time in artwork implicitly stopped on May 29, 1989 when the Bulgarian Communist Party Secretary General Todor Zhivkov announced that Голямата Eкскурзия for traitors had begun. No Man’s Land continues after May 29, 1989. The artwork only consists of evacuated space, which had not only been cleansed of human beings, but also erased from time itself. The series does not include any concept of time. Time had stopped – everywhere and nowhere. Complete emptiness remains.
Onur Ciddi is an Istanbul based artist who creates artwork integrated with the stories from the past and archival visual founding. He recently worked on the Oral History project, which focused on minorities’ daily life experience and everyday resistance in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Memory within space and time hold a significant place in his notion of work and creation. In his works, he follows a dialectic relation between space and time. According to this correlation, neither space nor time can exist without the other and constitute the grounds for memory to be set up. Without the space, memory cannot hold on and gets lost in time. And without memory, human beings cannot exist, as nothing remains. If a human being does not remember, only time remains. Humans exist as long as they have the memory of the space where they were born and had lived. Thus, as long as space is remembered, time can exist. Otherwise, there isn’t a past left, resulting in non-being. The artist continues to work both in Bulgaria and Turkey. He has recently graduated from History studies at the Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.
- Cover photo: Onur Ciddi: The Great Trip - No Man's Land, 2016.
- By Subject: archive