Hollows And Mounds A Take On Göbekli Tepe

In the second event of the series, the Exhibition Dynamics focuses on the exhibition “Hollows and Mounds: A Take on Göbekli Tepe” which is still on view at the Ara Güler Museum and Leica Gallery.

Through the exhibition which consists of photographs, videos, paintings and installations produced by Sinem Dişli, who has been working on the Euphrates River, Urfa and its environs for a long time, this interview opens up many layers of debate like the idea of an exhibition in the mind of an artist, how this idea enters into process of interaction with the two institutions and how it becomes spatialized.

This interview, which will discuss the materialization of the artist’s conceptual approach through the involvement of various actors, the transfer this approach to new means of representation (the exhibition book and the space itself) and thus turning the approach to experience, can also be considered as an excavation of the implicit processes of the exhibition from the formation of an idea to the implementation and experience of it.


Sinem Dişli, visual artist
Mert Zafer Kara, exhibition designer, architect & interior architect
Evren Kıvançer, Ara Güler Archives and Research Center, conservator


Dilara Tekin Gezginti, exhibition designer, architect
Eda Özgener Semerci,  architect
Exhibition Dynamics, an Atölye Mil project, is a series of interviews that are planned to discuss the dynamics, participants, roles and spatial decisions of the exhibition process from the moment of the exhibition idea emerged and until the stage of the installation. With the participation of the curator, artist, exhibition designer, researcher, communication and education program directors, the layers of the exhibition process are discussed.

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Hollows and Mounds: A Take On Göbekli Tepe

In this exhibition Sinem Dişli focuses on Göbekli Tepe, a monumental structure built by hunter-gatherers by shaping limestone, basalt and flint stone, as part of a series of works she has been producing for a decade around the Euphrates River and Mesopotamia region of Urfa, the city where she was born and raised.

The artist examines the multi-layered past of Göbekli Tepe and the region, as well as the layers of history and soil, through a language that alternates between fiction and documentary. She explores the complexity of the earth, the cycles of human beings in their interactions with stone and water containing the residues of millions of years. By tracing the ancient origins of everyday rituals, she looks for clues to reinterpret history and generate new approaches to our relationship with our environment. With a keen interest in the ways archaeology and geology deal with the fragile cycles of life and how we read and construct history through the stone. She observes the spaces, actions, and games we create, whether hitting one stone to another or looking to the wide universe. Attentive to the limitations of the photographic medium and remaining within its ambiguous nature, she seeks to establish open-ended associations between time, space and living beings, starting from our ways of perceiving binaries such as below and above ground, earth and sky, past and present, night and day.

“Hollows and Mounds: A Take On Göbekli Tepe”, the first joint project between Ara Güler Museum and Leica Gallery Istanbul, can be seen between September 16th 2019- February 15th 2020 in both gallery and museum.