boston

Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari, Postcards on a Rack (detail), 2011, ninety-six 4 x 6“ found postcards, metal rack, 72 x 24 x 24”.

Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari

PHOTOGRAPHIC RESOURCE CENTER AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari, Postcards on a Rack (detail), 2011, ninety-six 4 x 6“ found postcards, metal rack, 72 x 24 x 24”.

Between 1997 and 2010, the collaborative duo Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari crisscrossed their way through Turkey in search of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the writer, revolutionary statesman, military officer, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, who died in 1938. Or rather, the artists (who identify themselves as American and Turkish-Levantine, respectively) sought to capture the symbolic power of his image, which continues to resonate for divergent sectors of the country. With a provocative title suggesting the multiplicity that haunts every proper name, “7 Turkish Artists: Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari” made visible the paradoxical potency of Atatürk’s multivalent likeness in a society in which the voices of secularists, Islamists, nationalists, fascists, and the military all vie to be heard.

To draw out the connection between the former president’s omnipresence in the public

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