In his paintings, Gıcır abstracts once again the already isolated geography and people by displacing them onto different, estranged spaces. He also challenges the perpetual reproduction, through politics, art, literature and cinema, of images of Anatolia that have depicted it as a lonely, romantic, forlorn or static landscape since the late years of the Ottoman Empire and the early years of the Republic. Against recent revived attempts at resignification, Gıcır’s paintings suggest that such imaginaries of Anatolia lacked correspondence to reality in the first place.
The women whose stories and names are barely known except for the few photographs they have left behind and who are caught Between Fire and Sword (or in Armenian, Int Hur yev Int Sur), now stand suspended before us between, on the one hand, bearing witness, and on the other hand, the impossibility of witnessing. The paintings ultimately question whether it is indeed ever possible to depict the Catastrophe within the limits of the artist’s grasp, since, in the words of the novelist Hagop Oşagan, “The Catastrophe, immensurable yet at the same time peculiarly uniform, will always elude the artist who tries to penetrate it.”