Barış Eviz

Barış was born in 1976 in Kurtalan, Siirt. Lives and works in Batman.

What Is To Be Lost ?

What is loss?

What is it like to be lost?

Which of us is lost?

Is it those who are gone or those who are left behind?

Is it those who are killed or those who are killed?

Baris Eviz’s work titled Lost, successfully combining the possibilities of
live performance and video art has these questions at the heart.
Lost is based on the unsolved murders that stigmatized an era in the
region the artist resides. It tells the story of Kurdistan at the ‘90s
where fear and oppression were around, unquestioned massacres were
on going and people retired to their own darkness with the setting
sun; where everyone composed their own bloody end with the help of
the government and military forces. Not only reminiscence but he also
adds in his own responsibility and hasty reckoning.
Because, if those who are gone are lost then naturally those who are
left behind are losers.

Relatives of the lost have lost a part of them, a lover, a love, or perhaps
an innocent belief towards humanity; perpetrators have lost their
humanity at the very least, lost the beauty of life and their respect
for it. So, what should be the artist’s position and demeanor in this
cycle of loss, calling out to such a person? Eviz’s work is a successful
and delicate work in search of an answer to this question. It focuses
on the why and the how as well as the “what should be done,” and
merges them together. He furthers this by interpreting the data with
an analytic gaze, yet not visiting the perpetrator’s action, murder, in
the triangle of loss –perpetrator/victim/relative; he implicates to the
viewer that the real Lost/loser is the ignored perpetrator.

There is a creative plunge too. The artist is actively involved in the
process from the preparation to the presentation of the work. The
open kitchen, including the production process of the work within the
art, signifies a compulsory harmony of form and substance.

On the other hand, although the artist carries his own portrait, the
date under it, 1923, points to afore the losses, to their historical
reasons. The strong irony of the artist having his own lost bulletin at
hand, as opposed to the solemnity of the people’s disregard in the city
Batman, heavily burdened by cases of lost people makes the work even
more fulfilling. It can be argued that the encounter with the identity
card repair cart that cleans and renews identity cards is a reference to
the reason of the lost cases as an identity/identities issue. Later the
“encounter” with the colored chicks -genetically modified and fatally
decorated to look prettier to the people- is a reference to the unrealistic
multiculturalism arguments.

Lost may seem to be inspired by the “Plaza de Mayo Mothers” in
Argentina, struggling since 1977 for the return of their lost children,
or the “Saturday Mothers” from Turkey, yet it advances these long
standing conscience calls by including himself to the quest.
This is an intense, short but powerful work on how we are diminishing
and losing another with every loss, long before we are lost ourselves or
in fact forced to get lost.
(Mehmet Şarman / Writer)