IPDAL, 2010

c-print, 60 x 48 in

Avsar's Ipdal series, which highlights and questions the power and purpose of any totalitarian regime. The Ipdal works stem from a printer's collection of over 20,000 post cards made between the late 1960's and 1990's, which Avsar saved from destruction in Istanbul. Among the many poignant items found within the collection Avsar focused on a series of cards that had been crossed out and marked with the word Ipdal meaning cancelled in Turkish. This censorship was performed by the 1980's Turkish military government as they sought to eradicate anything that didn't fit with their very narrow and controlled vision of Turkey. Considering the images censored would not be out of place in conservative 1950's America, it only highlights the futile nature of any censorship in modern society. How an innocent postcard depicting a soldier with his girlfriend on his lap can be a threat to a nation's government is a mystery to most observers but it makes us realize the extent and power of governing forces and how just how far they will go to create one-dimensional profiles of themselves and those they are meant to govern. (Michael Bank Christoffersen)