Didem Doğan

Adrian Villar Rojas, ‘The most beautiful of all mothers’

Leo Trotsky is one of the prominent figures of the Soviet Revolution. He was deported both from the party and the country due to his opposition during the Stalin period. Before his exile years in Mexico, he lived in Istanbul for four years. We are now at his house on Buyukada shore, the house in the photograph with only its walls standing. Passing by the ruined walls, we are taking a path to the seaside, skipping over the thistles that overrun the place. Dazzlingly white statues placed on platforms on the sea are looking at us; an elephant, a giraffe, a monkey, a bull, a rhino…They are carrying on their backs other animals in brown which look dead. There is a contrast here: such as birth and death, purity and impurity? Rojas, the Argentinean artist titled her work as ‘the most beautiful of all mothers.’ If it refers to a mother, this work must be about giving birth, giving life and taking care of the living creature one gives birth to until one dies. Indeed. Are these pure statues which never lose their purity and never age carrying us? And to hazard a far-fetched guess, are these statues our values, the ideals and utopias that motivate us? And why are these animals looking at Trotsky’s house, why are they not facing the sea and the horizon but us, the viewers standing on the land? Are they looking at a figure which represents an ideal and a utopia? This is a major work of art, both in its size and in the story it tells, which is an eternal and universal story that repeats itself in every era, to be more precise. Unlike the symbol which surprised us at Rumelifeneri, the meaning which focused on a miniscule symbol, these statutes move us without needing a meaning, being what they are. The forms of thought are nevertheless the form of an idea, big or small, focused or scattered.