a farewell box to arms   /   unglazed porcelain, cardboard box

exhibited in cer modern, ankara, turkey (2015)

‘arms box’ is one of the many realities i came upon during a visit to eastern anatolia in 2000. a simple, cardboard box full of arms, found at the entrances of hotels and restaurants, with a scribbled ‘arms box’ handwritten on a sign. a frightening, bedazzling, and as much alienating experience for someone who’s affinity with arms goes as far as movies. the 15 years after the visit has led me to question the world, owning arms, and the definitions of peace and war. each disarmament, ironically, brings that box into memory, with the thoughts of its cynicism and hypocrisy. disarmament is a fake mask held before our eyes with the disguise of a step towards peace; the real deal is a world where no one owns arms and none are produced; and the impossibility of this scenario is heartbreaking. the developing world, day by day, should increase our humane aspects and smooth out our sharp edges. yet the reality is just the opposite; the middle age habits we fall towards from time to time never cease to leave us. it is disheartening to see our empathy wither away in the global world and technology we call the age of communication. we are surrounded by so many weapons that if we let go of one we grasp another. our beliefs, skin color, skull shape, mindset, language, ethnicity, hair color, mustache, make up, weight etc. as if all are opportunities for estrangement. and this moment, which we grasp arms the most, is the moment which we need the box the most. now, for all of us, it is time to say farewell to arms!

the work is a cardboard box filled with porcelain guns, named a farewell box to arms… the guns used in the artist’s ‘in the name of peace’ series symbolize war with the material’s toughness and vulnerability, and the illusion of peace with its white color. this metaphorical farewell box to arms is a reference to hemingway’s’ a farewell to arms. the work is the mixture of west and east cultures, with the regular disarmament concept in the east being displayed in a gallery in the west, creating a geological projection.


asli aydemir - a farewell box to arms - 01


asli aydemir - a farewell box to arms - 02


asli aydemir - a farewell box to arms - 03