Lucia Allais (United Kingdom, Italy)
Istanbul Archaeological Museums
“For any artist working on the neo-Hittite citadel of Karatepe in ancient Anatolia, around 700 BC, carving a ‘mixed being’ was a well-defined design task. A composite human-animal figure, with several heads and bodies, it was to be sculpted into the base of the city’s monumental entrance gates… ‘Mixed Being’ is also what I propose to call the design practice invented by the modern humans who discovered the scattered remains of this lost citadel in modern Turkey, in 1946, and took on the challenge of reconstructing it… Earlier in the 20th Century, when this region was dug for evidence of ancestral purity, these stones would have been moved to a far-away museum in Istanbul or Ankara. But a new generation of cosmopolitan scholars, led by Halet Çambel, decided to conserve them in situ.” –LA
Mixed Being investigates the archaeological operations initiated in 1946 at the fortress of Karatepe that ultimately led to the creation of the Karatepe-Aslantaş Open-Air Museum. Over half a century, an international team of scholars, conservators, architects and engineers sought to reconstitute the fragments of the citadel and, in a modernist fashion, preserve them on site, producing another kind of Mixed Being by mixing old and new. This installation explores three mixed beings, the original carvings, their preservation and the archaeologists themselves.