A Sea Of Possibilities
  • A Sea of Possibilities

    Installation
    5 digital prints
    book containing digital prints
    book containing 5 Turkish translations
    9 A4 translations into Arabic printed on white paper
    2007

    In this work, I point out 
the 
narrative dimension of reality and the impossibility of 
being objective. Everything is a 
story, even history. Artworks verbally described by art critics or art historians become something ‘other’.

    In his text, Vegetal and Mineral Memory, Umberto Eco writes that a linguistic system is the whole of the possibilities displayed by a given natural language. In his opinion, a finite set of grammatical rules allows the speaker to produce an infinite number of sentences. While the number of texts a person can produce is infinite or indefinite, a person uses sentences to reduce the infinite or indefinite possibilities of a linguistic system to a finite or definite text. Referring to Eco’s proposition, in this installation, I ask, “Are translations of my finite or definite text entitled “A Sea of Possibilities”, limited and finite, limited but virtually infinite, infinite but limited, or unlimited and infinite?”

    I know that a text in English can be translated into Turkish or Arabic or another language. A person uses definitions of words, meanings found from context, and individual degrees of knowledge concerning two linguistic systems to reduce the infinite or indefinite possibilities to a finite or definite text. But, everyone can draw unexpected connections between the different items because everyone’s knowledge, beliefs, and interpretations are slightly different. Even though one translator reduces the indefinite possibilities of two linguistic systems to a finite text, a number of translators can produce an indefinite number of variations. At the Alexandria Library in Egypt, nine people translated the text. While, to me, these translations appeared as visual forms, other people who could read Arabic, assured me that each differed from the other.