Towards is pleased to present Wake Up the Statues, an exhibition of new work by Maria Trabulo.
Trabulo’s multi-disciplinary practice investigates the role that images and artifacts play in shaping the social, political and cultural narratives that we tell ourselves as societies. Her work examines notions of remembrance, of personal and collective histories, as well as the alteration and restitution of political images.
Since 2018, Trabulo has been collaborating with two NGOs that archive photographic records of artifacts that have disappeared from Syria during the ongoing civil war. With so many of the objects being excavated and documented under duress, these databases often only contain partial records, usually consisting of a single, lo-res image while little is known about dimensions or materials. Working with The Day After (Istanbul) and the Syrian Heritage Archive Project (Berlin), Trabulo assists these networks of archeologists, historians, and museums to recover more information about each artifact, drawing upon oral histories and eyewitness accounts to create a more complete picture of this disappearing cultural heritage.
Wake Up the Statues emerged as a response to this ongoing crisis. Recognizing that these digital artifacts are at risk of fading into obscurity, Trabulo has begun to convert some of the digital images into new sculptures, restoring them back into physical form. Prioritizing practicality over faithful reproduction, these modified artifacts are designed to be easily transported in the case of emergency. Through this contemporary re-interpretation, Trabulo pays tribute to the devastating loss suffered under this conflict while helping to render visible some of the many embedded stories and histories these artifacts contain.