• ArtistGülsün Karamustafa
  • TitleIllustrated History
  • Year of Origin1995
  • GenreObject
  • Technique and DimensionTextile collage, 215 x 530 cm
  • Erwerbungsjahr

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Thomas Bruns

Until a few years ago nothing was known about the early Ottoman tradition of the precious kaftans of the Sultans that were laid under the embroidered covers of their tombs. To the surprise of the art historians, when the outer fabric covers of some 15th-century tombs were opened for renovation reasons, the old kaftans were revealed. As they had not been in contact with much air or light, they were in perfect condition.

Illustrated History has the form of a huge kaftan, but it does not exactly belong to a historical era. Bringing together the references of the high and low, it interlaces an imagery that no longer reminds you of the royalty but offers you a space to discover a chaotic and disordered fantasy. Related to the new discovery, for the 31st São Paulo Biennial, I chose to display Illustrated History on a pedestal that remind me of the old Ottoman Tombs.

– Gülsün Karamustafa