Alev Ersan is an artist, writer, and translator. Her practice ranges from installations incorporating audio, visual, and textual content and site-responsive performances to stop-motion animation and poetry. Ersan works with narrative and translation as tools, as materials, and as modes of thinking through the porous relations between language, memory, and desire within private and public realms.
During the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice Ersan will work on Translation as Digging, Writing Into and Out Of Loss, an ongoing project around translation, queer theory and grief studies. It takes the shape of a bilingual, compositional, and arguably collaborative text in prose-poetic form that will expand into a series of multimedia installations and further written forms. Translation here is put to work as a continuous, performative, complex mode of thinking, driven by the workings of two mother tongues—Turkish and English—acting upon one another, and inflected by other linguistic heritages such as Arabic, Ladino, and French. What can a translational approach to narrative reveal about the potentials of erasure, error, and familiarity with respect to bilinguality and its palimpsestic undercurrents? How does mourning voice the untranslatable, echoing precarious potentials of speaking to, after, or in place of the deceased?
Ersan’s recent works were shown in Also Your Wound, Rosa, Kurtuluş Greek School, İstanbul, 2022; mâzîk, DEPO İstanbul, 2022; and Through the Window Project, İstanbul, 2021. Recent published work can be found in Füsün Onur, Once upon a time… (2022, Mousse Publishin); Moero Fanzin 3 (2021, Moera). Ersan lives and works in İstanbul and is part of the BAK Cell, İstanbul in the Fellowship for Situated Practice.