Lapis lazuli, why so blue?

A crowned blue gemstone extracted from the sepia-colored Hindu Kush mountains bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, lapis lazuli used to be the only way to feel the tangibility of the sky, the sea and heaven. Being the first natural blue, it dazzled the deities reining the Ancient Mesopotamian underworld and traveled from beyond the sea to paint the robes of the Madonna. Until the nineteenth century, it has mainly been considered as the color of heavenly blue, hence its historical association with the celestial sphere that marks the sacred boundaries of our universe.

Aslı Çavuşoğlu drifts into its ancient depths, bridging the Asian mountains with Witte de With in search of delirium, absentness, and the intangibility of the sky. At the heart of her project lies lapis lazuli’s transition from sacredness to its stature as a color today. Delving into its history and nature to trigger memories and spirits of other blues: the blue of diamonds, deep holes in the ocean, the rare blue dahlia, the blue moon, Confederate money, the shaded slopes of clouds and mountains, emphasizing the increasing absentness of heaven.

Location: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam)
Limited seating available, please sign-up at the reception desk or send an e-mail to [email protected]

—Supported by

SAHA Association – Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey