copyright 2010 - 2018 * built with indexhibit
"Whose City Is That? Culture, Design, Spectacle and Capital in Istanbul." Edited by Dilek Özhan Koçak and Orhan Kemal Koçak, this book was an invitation and a challenge to reflect upon art's relationship with cycles of consumption and production. And the position of the artist. If I were to re-write it, what would happen? "Never look back" a catch-phrase... Yet I miss keeping hand written diaries that process each day. To reflect upon. To spare that time. Time to write. Time only to think. To reflect upon. (2021, noted.)
(Noted probably in 2016:) After the Gezi protests, I was invited to join a group of artist-academicians to start a Faculty of Fine Arts in Mardin (southeast of Turkey by the Syrian border). A process of "re-situation" began.
That was during the peace process. In time, the “PeaceProcess” recessed back into "conflict". Simultaneously, the process of Re-situation started a chain of visible and invisible reactions. Transformation shook us up. The "I" became the "we". The "we" stepped back into the "I".
"Gaps" of various characters summoned us to re-consider relations and inter-relations. To re-consider the meaning of it all.
That was in 2013*.
jump from the west of the Republic of Turkey to the southeast! this jump, was possible due to an encounter with the grasshopper. the grasshoppers both in africa and in turkey said jump! and the irrational and the unconventional side of me surrendered
I signed the petition for peace. What did not kill us changed us...
The critical distance needed to deal with the affects of repression (various types of traumatic memory)... I needed that in the first move. I needed that again on the move back. Yet directions are not linear. There is no back. No forward. Within and all around.
Friendship, dialogues and re-discovering what we valued kept us alive, up and awake. Helped us work through repression.
A mandatory crash course with identity politics was the apparent trigger that started various doses of both willing and forced "interrogations". (This sentence needs further clarification; the subjects of state oppression, the subjects of capitalistic oppression, the subjects of male oppression.-update 2021-) We questioned our positions such as as
- “invador”, “local”, “foreigner”, “visitor”, “saviour”, “victim”, “scapegoat” ....
-“a rational being”, “an irrational being”
-an artist, an academician, the teacher, the ignorant schooolmaster
-“a drop of water”, “stardust” and such.
(Devaluation and value - that defines the continuous dance. Value rules for now. Strong in its fragility. -2021)
Is it impossible to communicate with one another? (under constant rules defining our codes of conduct)
(burnt trees, dead animals, stones, a rock, the wind of the northest point in Turkey, a poet long dead,etc.)
When the climate is suffocating, how do we breathe? If the ENTITY is an entitiy that naturally breathes, if that entitiy is alive and biologically functioning, that entitiy by itself breathes.
Sometimes an entitiy is UNABLE to feel the ALIVEness. Unable to feel its own PRESENCE. its own ENTITY. its own BECOMING. At that point, the entity either holds on to the experience and resists, or is traumatized. (fighting for one's life, continuing daily life or break in the story manifesting itself as depression and trauma... ways to deal with a repressive climate. in the family, in the neighbourhood, in the country, in the world.)
Constructing situations to break the routine -like situationists- arise as a need to raise the energy and to feel alive in a geography and in a climate that can be suffocating.
As by 2018, I am "portable".
On the move. Still running the studio-theory class at Mardin Artuklu University Sculpture Department. Fond of the third space that was born in years through our dialogues. The building of the university is not in its right place. So we put our head, our thoughts and feelings in their right place. (Nesrin Uçarlar's choice of the name of her book is notable. So true. Nothing is in its Right Place.) The balance between resistance and surrender is well worth discussing from different perspectives.
(the part above is re-read and updated: end of 2018 february.)
I further open up my artistic and academic practice with workshops that question the politics and poetics of “where we are”, and the possibility of changing the positioning that are already defined for us in advance.
“Nature knows no political boundaries.”
Life hits the sharp boundaries. Sometimes it fails. and sometimes prevails. human condition is a full package with all kinds of contradictions. "I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me..." echoes here. so enter D.H. Lawrence*...
That is why I have been collborating since 2012 with two researchers from the faculty of BOTANICS at IStanbul University to document the transformation of ALFRED HEILBRONN BOTANICAL GARDEN in time and in relation with politics steering towards negotiations and conflict. (In my first large scale installation regarding how authorities intend to LOSE this SECRET GARDEN on purpose, among with dried plants and seeds I collected from the garden, I also placed a handmade banner that wrote: “don’t TOUCH my village, my earth, my SEED.” As I keep revisiting the same Botanical Garden, a third space forms in between, which may allow for change to happen.
The state of CARE in contrast to the state of ANXIETY is valuable... breath. In and out. Give and take. Prepare your filters. Hold onto your core. Be mindful, get rooted.
(i would rather defşne the word "temas" as follows: this is the gesture of E.T touching my forehead in my dream. And on awakening, I feel a tiny bump on my forehead. touch, connection, contact. like a fabric soaking in the water. the touch creates an in between zone. a transference. )
2. turning the limits we encounter into chances. possibilities
3. intertextuality (music, texts, conversation pieces, labels, daily notes, images, impressions)
*“What man most passionately wants is his living wholeness and his living unison, not his own isolate salvation of his "soul." Man wants his physical fulfillment first and foremost, since now, once and once only, he is in the flesh and potent. For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. Whatever the unborn and the dead may know, they cannot know the beauty, the marvel of being alive in the flesh. The dead may look after the afterwards. But the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.”