The Abandonment

Artists Volkan Diyaroglu
Genre Object
Edition Survival 20
  • 2021

The work is part of the “Theory of Almost Everything” project carried out in Istanbul in 2021, which focused on the artist’s personal theories concerning the constant crises characterising the modern world, be them individual or perceived more broadly – sociologically, politically, etc. Born in Turkey, Diyaroglu does not believe in luck, but he does believe in bad luck. Such bad luck may consist in, for example, being born in the Middle East, i.e. in a region of the world plagued by constant crises. In such a place, playing by the rules does not guarantee success. More than that: It does not even ensure that the order of the game is maintained. These objective factors contradict the belief that the global establishment is trying to instil in us – that we can freely change our lives through hard work, intelligence, persistence, or consistent action. Although it is easy to dispel this illusion, we consciously or unconsciously want to believe in it. It is one of the lies that allows us to live each new day, to wade through the life we were thrown into, forget about everything beyond our influence.

This “short poem in three dimensions,” as the artist calls it, was inspired by backgammon, a game which is very popular in Turkey. The loser’s frustration is often expressed by accusing the triumphant opponent of “being lucky” or somehow manipulating the dice. In this case, however, the dice is pinned down and immobilised by an extinguished cigarette – a symbol of withdrawing from the game and abandoning the delusions endlessly produced and reproduced by the media, education, family and culture.