top of page


a study on future memories

Ulgen Semerci & Burcu Yagcioglu

Istanbul, 2014

Conversation: Ülgen Semerci and Burcu Yağcıoğlu with Elif Gül Tirben


Flies and Defecates, 2014

ÜS: Conversations, myths and dreams have been part of our process all along. In the middle of one night I suddenly woke up from a dream with the word diaper, loud and clear. We had been discussing bodily fluids as floods, which must have been a trigger. Luckily I have a five-month-old nephew, so it was fairly easy to get a diaper.

While shooting the image, I wanted the diaper to turn into a landscape. In my work I often aim for an abstract state, the way things look before you can identify them. I find it liberating, this in-betweenness, suspension of knowledge. Then things are what they are. And they are what they are for each one of us.

EGT: What does the title of the work (Flies and Defecates) mean?

ÜS: According to a Chukchee creation myth, Raven and his wife live alone on a small plot of ground. Raven’s wife tells him to go and try to create the earth. But Raven says he cannot. Later in her sleep the wife delivers twins. Raven then says he shall create the earth. He flies and defecates. Every piece of excrement falls upon water, grows quickly, and becomes land. But something’s missing; there is no fresh water. Raven urinates. Where one drop falls, it becomes a lake; where a jet falls, it becomes a river.

You see, this is how Raven competes with his wife’s procreativity. And of course, he is so mighty that his poop and piss are plenty to constitute the world.

                                                                                                                                                       from the conversation with Elif Gul Tirben for m-est.

bottom of page