Ahmet Arslan


Earmaginations [silent videos]

The Holly Tesbih

Tesbih (Prayer Beads) are a loyal friend. It will accompany you in difficult times. It does not speak or make demands. You mingle with Tesbih immediately; your hands get used to them quickly. Some you cannot love, no matter how precious they are. Aren’t human relations also like that? Can you be friends with everybody? Each Tesbih has a different season and a different mood. For example, you cannot count amber Tesbih in summer. On rainy days, it is necessary not to take the wooden Tesbih out of the house. 

Tesbih is the grains of prayer, peace on the fingertips. When night falls, the voices stop, and the household falls asleep, I retreat to my room and take one of the boxes holding prayer beads. I sit cross-legged on the ground and start getting into trouble with them. I relax, and the weight of the day is lightened.

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Ahmet Arslan is a Turkish/Kurdish-born artist based in Long Beach, CA who works primarily in drawing and video. Ahmet received his MFA in Painting/Drawing from Sakarya University, Turkey and a BA in Art Education from Selcuk University, Turkey. 

Ahmet’s work examines the intersection of indigenous cultural landscapes and state sponsored discourses of assimilation, militarism and racial supremacy. They engage in ongoing conversations regarding erasure of minority histories; economic pressure on the agrarian working class born from globalization; and the malleable but resistant heritage and traditions of indigenous cultural landscapes.

Artist Location: Long Beach, CA

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Posted in Artists 2021.