Interview with Beral Madra, in 2000
BM: Please describe the project you are developing for Borusan Art Gallery,
CT: With this piece, called "Nothing to Declare", I intend to turn the gallery entrance into a flying-carpet store. Carpets, frozen in their flights, will hover above the heads of the visitors, each carrying patches of live green grass, which can be seen from the mezzanine. These "cultivated" landscapes will stand, out of reach, as tokens of a promised --no man's--land, and will be left to die slowly in the course of the exhibition. My aim is not only to make references to the struggle of impossible territorial claims, but also to the selling-out of culture through cheapened replicas… I make allusion to a place we imagine, and try to reach in vain: That place where the grass is always greener.
In this piece the natural and the artificial are in conflict. This illustrates the clash between reality and imagination. The orient is demystified, scrutinized and left in the hands of those who chose to culturally enslave and “self-orientalize” in order to profit from that cultural deformation called folklore. Cultural and material exchange, territorial claims and the on going brain drain… all these topics are implied.
Borders are made more accessible when one has "nothing to declare."
Under these flying carpets, barriers are dressed, standing chaotically in the middle of the gallery. These barriers divide and further complicate the access to the gallery, and force visitors into getting in an unnecessary confusing line. This it to stress the unnecessary difficulties some people, more that others, encounter while going through borders.