In his work "Why Look at Animals?", John Berger asserts that the proliferation of public zoos
during the 19th century transcended mere spectacle, serving as a potent symbol that reinforced the colonial legacy. These zoos, showcasing exotic animals captured from distant lands, underscored and perpetuated colonial dominance over foreign territories. The exhibition Why Are Elephants Angry? drawing inspiration from the remarkable memory capacity of elephants, questions and inspects the interaction between nature and humans, power dynamics closely, as well as the consequences of humans' quest for dominance over their environment.

At first, humans and animals were unified in each other's existence, as seen in the Lascaux cave murals. Yet, the human struggle to break free from this unity and establish dominance over nature through violence echoes with an ingrained courage, inspiring not just aggression towards the natural world, but also fostering a readiness for violence against fellow humans. Çavuldur explores the different meanings of violence in today's world, sharing a story that starts from the outside and goes deep within. While crafting this story, every piece of knowledge, memory, and all the possibilities of time are kept safe. They might be found in simple things like a strand of hair, the veins of a leaf, or even in the molecules of a lava stone.

Lale Çavuldur

Lale Çavuldur pursued her art education in Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department ofPainting, from 1983 to 1986, before continuing her studies in Germany. Following her education in Painting and Sculpture at the Karlsruhe State Academy of Fine Arts from 1987 to 1991, she graduated with a Master's degree. From 1994 to 1996, she pursued a Master's program at the Leipzig Academy of Fine Arts. In 1997, she returned to Turkey and embarked on a career as an independent artist, focusing on dance performances, installations, sculptures, and paintings. In 2005, she became an academic at Anadolu University, where she contributed to establishing the Paper Workshop and held workshop classes. She also lecuted at ITU Ayazağa campus from 2010 to 2011.

From 2007 to 2021, she served as a faculty member at the Fine Arts Faculty of FMV Işık University, where she established the paper workshop and gave courses on paper art and design. From 2012 to 2018, she pursued a doctoral program at Marmara University Institute of Educational Sciences, completing her thesis titled "The Use of Recycled Paper Pulp in Visual Arts Education and Its Effects on Environmental Education: An Action Research". In her artistic practice, she predominantly employs paper in her installations, paintings, and sculptures, combining environmental and paper art by producing and transforming her own materials.

Why Are Elephants Angry? is open to visitors until April 13th, 2024 at Millî Reasürans Art Gallery.




Exhibition Talk: Lale Çavuldur & Zeynep Sayın