The quest for a rural heaven

Şifa Girinci

4.09 – 30.09.2018

Tribes migrate, masses push each other.

Migration is recently a trending topic. A myriad of concepts, descriptions and figures have reduced migration into a “forced displacement of people for survival”.
From the Far East to Taurus Mountains… Was it poverty that drove people into those distant lands?

Below is the summary of a double focus: The first is an aspect of migration; that is, “an impulsive quest for a rural heaven”. And the second is a major actor in this quest: Eurasian collared-dove.
The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world.
Originally from west Asia and part of China, the eurasian collared dove arrived Europe through the Balkans in 1960s and rapidly reproduced. This is when German and many other European biologists conduct research on the biology and population dynamics of the species. Due to their invasive and migratory nature, the Eurasian collared-dove is called Türkentaube (Germany), Tourterelle (France) and Turkse Tortel (the Netherlands) – that is to say, the Turkish dove!
In her first exhibition titled “Streptopelia decaocto” within her larger project, Şifa Girinci approached migration as an impulsive “quest for a rural heaven”, leaving aside the dynamics attracting and ostracizing masses.

“The quest for a rural heaven” is a sequel to the artist’s main project and research, and it focuses on the biology and the population dynamics of the Eurasian collared-dove, a species known by their invasive and migratory nature. Following the 1960 migration route of Eurasian collared-doves, she takes the Water Tower in Sofia as a research base and physically re-constructs it. The fact that the species arrived Europe through the Balkans has given the artist the opportunity to enlarge her literature review and find new data on the distribution of doves in Bulgaria. The subsequent mapping of the migration routes of the Eurasian collared-dove merges with the architecture of the Water Tower within an elliptical form. The result is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that is fictional and research-based at the same time, being composed of an ornithological room of portraits, archival work, scientific articles and sound installations.


Şifa Girinci