Ahmet Öğüt

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Black Diamond

Installation with a small piece of museum wall, twelve tons of coal, diamond
Black Diamond (2010) is a process-based project, which is open to and requires the active participation of the audience. First presented at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven in July 2010 and later adapted to ARTER, Istanbul, and Leopold Museum, Vienna, the project questions the ways in which art institutions relate to their audiences. To begin, a tiny portion of wall of the institution is removed and replaced with a diamond. Meanwhile, a designated area of the institution is covered with tons of coal and the “piece of museum” is buried in it. Finally, the visitors are offered the opportunity to enter into the coal piles by appointment to search for the concealed piece of wall for a limited time. For visitors who simply want to see the diamond, a map with a series of logical steps is prepared that would lead the adventurers to a magnifier enabling them to view the diamond. Those who are willing to dig through the coal and could locate the hidden “piece of museum” would be awarded with the diamond in exchange for the displaced par of the institution. In case the “piece of the museum” could not be found during the exhibition, the diamond would be deemed irretrievable and would remain buried forever in the wall. While the treasure hunt was not successful in Van Abbemuseum throughout the 6-month long exhibition, two visitors found the wall fragment and claimed the diamond at ARTER five days after the opening and two visitors found it during the opening at Leopold Museum. Later Öğüt donated the diamond in Eindhoven to an artist collective.