Underconstruction – Berlin 27th of September – 10 November 2012
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Apartment Project Berlin is active as of September 2012; a multifunctional, interdisciplinary space with aims to be a meeting/production point for international artists
The first project to be realized is “Underconstruction-Berlin” an extension of two sister projects; Reciprocal Visit and Re-Locate
Reciprocal Visit; realized in 2009, focused on borders, neighbourhoods and road-trip-experience, in South Caucasia; Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran.
Re-Locate; realized in 2011, focused on migration routes/exchange, flexibility of borders, cultural similarities/controversies in the Balkans; Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Kosovo.
“Underconstruction-Berlin” focuses on integration, cultural diversity, transition and border politics; issues that begin with labour immigration from other countries into BerlinDuring the workshop throughout September artist talks, presentations, video/film screenings and performances that are in dialogue with the focus points of participating artists took place. Collaboration and idea exchange between artists from Berlin and İstanbul were mediated through these events.
New collaborative projects emerged with the contribution of the Berlin based participants to the process.
.-_-., <-x->, Özgür Erkök, everybody is an, Ingo Frischeisen, Lee Garcia, Çiğdem Hasanoğlu, Ha Za Vu Zu (Güçlü Öztekin, Güneş Terkol, Mert Öztekin, Özgür Erkök), ibrahim, Gözde İlkin, Mehmet Can Koçak, Göksu Kunak, Yasemin Nur, Suat Öğüt, İz Öztat, Bert Perl, Ilgın Seymen, Steffi Weisman, Zişan.
Project Manager: Selda Asal
Coordinator: Özgür Erkök
1999 yılında İstanbul’da Selda Asal tarafından kurulan Apartman Projesi, sanatçılara solo çalışmaların yanında, kolektif projelerle disiplinler arası işbirliği imkânı sunar. Gezici workshoplar gibi deneysel çalışma modellerine alan açan bir proje mekânıdır.Apartman Projesi Eylül 2012’den itibaren Berlin’de açılan mekânında etkinliklerini sürdürmektedir. İlk proje Reciprocal Visit ve Re-Locate adlı birbiriyle ilişkili son iki projenin devamı niteliğinde olan “Underconstruction-Berlin” Projesi’dir.
2009 yılında Kafkas bölgesinde; Gürcistan, Ermenistan, Azerbaycan ve İran’a yapılan sınır, komşuluk ve yol deneyimi meselelerine odaklanan gezici workshop projesi İade-i Ziyaret (Reciprocal Visit) ile yine benzer yaklaşımla 2011’de Balkan bölgesinde; Bulgaristan, Yunanistan, Makedonya ve Kosova’ya yapılan, mübadele yılları, sınırların değişkenliği, kültürel ortaklık ve anlaşmazlıklara eğilen Re-Locate projelerinin devamı, kendini yeniden konumlandırma üzerinden bu sefer Berlin’de gerçekleştirilmiştir.
” Underconstruction-Berlin” dış ülkelerden işçi göçüyle ön plana çıkan kültürler arası geçişlilik, çeşitlilik ( transition+ diversity) ve entegrasyon, sınır politikaları konularına odaklanan kolektif bir çalışma süreci tasarlamaktadır.
Eylül ayı boyunca süren proje workshop ve hazırlık sürecinde İstanbul’dan ve Berlin’den sanatçıların arasında işbirliği ve fikir alışverişi ortamını destekleyen odaklandıkları meselelerle, üretimleriyle ilgili sanatçı konuşmaları, sunumlar, workshoplar düzenlenmiştir.
Berlin’den katılımcıların da sürece dâhil olmasıyla, Underconstruction’da yeni birliktelikler ve kolaboratif projeler kendini göstermiştir.
Apartment Project ist eine Non-Profit-Künstlerinitiative, die 1999 in Istanbul gegründet wurde. Apartment Project-Berlin besteht seit September 2012 als Arbeits-, Lebens- und Ausstellungsraum. “Underconstruction-Berlin” ist das erste Projekt, das bei Apartment Project-Berlin verwirklicht wird. In einem einmonatigen Prozess werden hier experimentelle Workshops durchgeführt – beeinflusst von der Herausforderung an kooperatives Arbeiten und Zusammenleben. “Apartment Project Berlin” ist ein Ort des Zusammenlebens und hat das Ziel, internationale Künstler mit interdisziplinärer Herangehensweise zusammenzubringen. Mit Istanbul als Ausgangspunkt und mit dem Antrieb neue Ideen in neuer Umgebung und Geographie zu entwickeln, versucht das Projekt, die Herausforderung anzunehmen und allzugrosse Erwartungen auszuräumen, indem in einem fortwährenden Transformationsprozess der Begriff des Erfolgs hinterfragt wird.
Underconstruction – Berlin Das erste Projekt, das bei Apartment Project Berlin realisiert wird, konzentriert sich auf die Ideen, die man an jeder Ecke der geliebten Stadt mit neoliberalen Vorstellungen findet: Reflexionen über das Gedenken an Revolutionen, an Cabarets, an Kriege und an die Mauer, an Migrationen und Manifestationen… Ein weiterer Ansatzpunkt ist das Untersuchen und In-Bezug-Setzen der beiden Metropolen Berlin und Istanbul. Das Schaufenster des Projektraums repräsentiert die Blickrichtungen von aussen nach innen und umgekehrt: es lässt Begegnungen nicht nur mit den Menschen, sondern auch mit dem Alltagsleben und den Stimmungen in der Stadt zu. Die Künstler stellen Fragen, versuchen Antworten und Lösungen zu finden, verlieren sich, ändern ihre Richtung und werden an neue Möglichkeiten herangeführt.
Texts from the draft book
The Apartment Project Berlin
The realm of open-ended questions which surfaced from the excitement of creating something new all together. Brainstorming, falling, taking risks, changing, transforming.
Can (will) not hold within, can(will) not stay within.
No matter how deep previous experiences are, being pushed around/dualities can provoke the search for new existences in new geographies. The Apartment Project artists’ work reflects their constant motion, change of countries and interactions with the continents they are in; reflections of their ongoing roamings.
Why do we run (why chased) away from our own geography?
Living together at Hertzbergstrasse number 13 for one full month, sharing the good and bad, staring and caring… These were the main driving force behind Underconstruction-Berlin. Struggles and flurries on one hand, and creations springing out of this commotion on the other… Underconstruction emerged from a mutual existence and sharing of a limited space. Many alternative locations were eliminated, some, more spacious, because the desire was to be t/here. 10 suitcases scattered around 20 square meters transforms a residency into something indescribable.
I I I believe believe believe beginning beginning beginning a a a project project project, or or or o o r r moving moving a a a well-established well-established well-established sharing sharing sharing area area which which took took years years years to to to perfect perfect perfect to to a a brand brand brand new new new city city, country country will will will feel feel feel as as as uncomfortable uncomfortable uncomfortable as as as reading reading this this passage passage. In the beginning what came first?: -that first talk in the park? – feelings and thoughts evoked by the work? – the words on the wall? – the waterfall of words I witnessed pouring out? – Selda, struggling to capture everything on her camera, falling/calling but endlessly hauling?- or the long, blue, fake eyelashes of Özgür’ün (Erkök),whom I ran into at the metro on a Saturday night? Which to focus on, I couldn’t decide. And so many more anecdotes missed due to times I couldn’t be present at the center. Who is watching? Who is watching? Who is (being) watch(ed)(ing)?
The center is one of the first priorities in the creation process of Apartment Project Berlin. The construction of the location with recycled materials continues both at a physical and conceptual sense. The show window of the location which was previously prepared for the motorcycle shop there enables people to watch and be watched as it arouses curiosity.
Those strolling the streets can look inside the show window and witness the reality of life inside. The window of the location provides pedestrians with a constantly changing stage of the daily cycle of working and boarding, laughter and fights, eating, sleeping, bathing etc., with props and costumes creating an exhibition which is absurd at times. A stage where secret lives are revealed to the naked eye. Everything created during the process should be taken into consideration with the actual center itself. The strong connection between in and out brings with it the feeling of being on the sidelines; the watcher and the watched, the offerer and the offer transforming eachother every time. Those outside spy on those inside, vice versa. They become voyeurs. When Elkins  speculated on the mystery of which side is in and which is out, he used the example of a sock. Holding the sock one can tell which side is in and which is out, but turn it inside out and what happens then? Likewise when I consider the Apartment Project Berlin, when the curious neighbors and passerbys watch and question what is happening here, they too.become part of the street which is being watched.
Some conversations that took place at the center regarding daily problems also dwelled on this issue. Discussions about in and out may actually make the borders more tangible. Those who are at the border and those who have crossed it ; those who are radical, those who are borderline, the fear of being(thrown) inside when out, or out when in… The Government’s constant look out and spying on us from within.Just like projected in the Loud Family, the first version of Baudrillard’s Big Brother, the need for everyone to watch eachother, thereby gaining control…
Taking into consideration the fact that Hegel conceptualized Me based on the presence of The Other, I can not become Me without The Other. So unfortunately my formation will not be complete without the inevitable need for The Other. Sontag focuses on the necessity modern societies feel to search for/establish themselves through the existence of others– Europe, with what is eccentric, rationality, in sex and drugs, conscience, in subconsciousness. Considering all aspects of living together, it is not possible to exist in this center without watching(out for) the other.
Who censors authority/power?
Who has the command/demand? Who/What is it /where is it ?
Lost, on the border, stuck in between/radical and marginal, torn from roots, longing for those roots, preserving traditions, creating one’s own commune, bonded with eachother, changing into the other … Struggling to exist, but unable to be(come) an identity neither here,nor there. And so who decides whether or not they are at the border; God or goverments?
One objective of the project from the beginning was that discussions at the center should have the political and social issues of the country as a focal point. While dwelling on changes influenced by history,life,culture, immigration and everything surfacing from a city’s dynamics, the integration process of immigrants was taken up, with references to Istanbul as well. Stripping oneself of historical,political, and social influences…Freeing words from their own origin,history and meaning…These (would)put an end to the boring repetition of facts and stop/ped any dogmatism in a new geography. How deeply can the dynamics of Berlin be internalized in one month? Who has control over the conditions and circumstances of those pushed aside and normatilization? Control over those stuck between, those on the border, of borders, of those who have things to say but who can’t (are forbidden) to say them? Who decides who can stay? Who decides who will decide on who will stay? Who decides who the decider is? Endless babbling and ravings.
How to give a voice to the costume?*
Berlin! The land of Dadaist theatre, cabarets, costumes and clubs! Dada’s street costumes and shouts of , “Dada kicks you in the behind and you like it!” . Remnants of post-war depression,r emains of expressionism… The city that welcomed nudism and capitalism during the same period. The center of spontaneity where we can set our souls free. In this sense the performances which entail costumes and the body overlap with this city’s history.
The costume is a means of expression. Costume/clothes wrap the body; likewise, the body is wrapped in skin, yet another costume. As the center turns into the skin and limbs of those who live there each movement takes on a meaning of its own. Alongside the costumes prepared for the opening performance, the phallic nosed burka in the “Display Window is Watching Us” workshop, every beat of life contributed to the formation of the performances, influences from visitors. In fact at the location the time span between taking off a nightgown and putting it back on, spontaneous acts that popped up as we meandered the city, words that poured out of this aliveness, all these weaved their way into the performances. Cloth, various materials that eventually became costumes, the flowers next to the paints, the sadomasochist mask crowned with a yellow wig, the expressions of passerbys as they tried to figure out what was going on inside… Shouts across the room, the hum of the sewing machine, cutting, gluing, dancing figures… Writing, dressing, undressing figures all at the same place at the same time.. And above all this, Kesim’s sculpture is watching it all.
27.09.2012/ That which was borne out of the nylon pieces floating around
Neukolln… The hip neighborhood dreaded about five years ago, and a dream to live in today. In areas which are slowly becoming refined, coffee-shops where people smoke the water pipe are close to various art galleries, creating a lively atmosphere on the streets. The opening performance given by Steffi on September 27 made an allusion to previous times; she had a small sound system connected to her belt which gave out cries and sounds of animals, a reminder of the days when Neukolln was “a frightening forest ”. So was it the Turks? Or the Arabs,or was it other nationalities? Did the Europeans become heroes as they plucked the weeds, uprooting them? Steffi recorded the sounds from the street and added them to her performance. The privacy of the owners of these voices was one of the matters of concern for the artist.
The dancing, performing nylon goes down eventually…
The spirit of the performance which was open to the feel of the moment and was ever chang/ing-able made Ha Za Vu Zu, Ingo, İz, Gözde and Yasemin’s creations even more unpredictable. The metaphysical relationship which Iz had with her alter-ego Zişan was at the beginning of the performance. Zişan appearing from under the skirt in preparation for necromancy seance, the hairbrush with which Zişan loved and caressed herself, her mask which depicted various stages of her life, her rabbit which brought to mind pornography and Beuys’s “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare” performance, the 19. Century printed version of Goethe’s Faust… All objects telling the tale of this stong Ottoman woman.
The man suddenly stopped and questioned in “Hey You!” , reminds us of problems we are face into due to borders and nationalities. This performance also brings to mind Althusser’s “the evoking doctrine which Judith Butler refers to in `The Power’s Pyschic Life’ ”. The force of power shouting out “Hey You!” aims at creating fear. The man in the performce exposed to questions such as “Do you have money?” could only laugh facing this situation. The laughter grows louder as he continues his own course of action! In the end, letting yourself fall into the box.. Maybe closing yourself in/out…
A creation of the costume workshop was a shirt for, creating a feel of two bodies in search of one another on the steets of Berlin. Far but close/close but far…Dying to meet face to face , but unable to do so due to the shirt which binded them back to back. Their somewhat hysterical actions to free themselves of the shirt was another part of the performance. The two bodies which were inside and outside, moving like reflections of eachother yet remaining apart although the other was just right there. This shirt worn by Gözde and Yasemin gives a clue about this one month period and has a taste of schizophrenia attached to it .Before the performance comes to an end, the sublime human appears; with jacket sleeves of one meter that can reach everywhere, this “socio-guard” feeds on the power the uniform gives him and one steps aside in fear and caution. The ‘musical instrument` that Mert created by taping various items to his shoes , the conversations passed on, the costumes, the items, the preparation period of the equipment.. All these add value to the performance. It’s not only a one night show, but an ongoing staging of all the happenings of the month. Now the footprint remains in the center alongside everything that brought the performances to life , and the performances continue in traces left behind.
Starting from 27.09.2012/ Roaming (a)round
Living in the Apartment Project Berlin for a full month is somewhat schizophrenic, as everyone there has suggested it is. The use of various languages and the confusion definitely enriched our lives there; Talks in Turkish, communications in English , inventing new words derived from the German we learned… Meaningful on one hand , and meaningless on the other. Like the drawing at the entrance of the image wearing an oxygen mask, a reality that makes breathing and speaking difficult.
Words scribbled on walls following each conversation are truly important; Complex, but reliable sources revealing the nature of the project. This is also noticeable in Gözde’s drawings in which she manipulated language and symbols by using cloth, a sewing needle, and thread. The young girl with innocent eyes holding a pig’s head asking “wie lange bleiben sie hier?”… a crane next to the German word zerbrechlich, which means fragile… Right next to this these drawings you see Özgür’s rotating panel, “Farewell World, Here I Come”, and phrases such as “not who you are but what you do, normalization, aussteigen bitte” which reflect the sub-cultures of the city. Images used on the rotating panel mock the figures of power; the police helmet with its fetishistic use, the deformed figure of the pedestrian depicted in the green traffic lights in Berlin, the moustache-like drawings that bring to mind nationalistic feelings, they all play a role in including the city’s dynamics into the piece.
Another work which plays with the concept of imagery was İbrahim and Mehmet Can’s video, which included 1500 frames/15 frames per minute/ the upside down photos which appeared only 0.6 seconds . How long does it take us comprehend an image? Do we really watch videos? For example how many brave fellows could literally watch Christian Marclay’s 24 hour video, The Clock, which was shown in the 2011 Venice Biennial? In Still There you stand before the screen and wait. As you stand there waiting, an image flashes by the screen and quickly disappears. The fact that this image is upside down makes it even more difficult to recognize. The curiosity is there, but will we wait? Once again it all boils down to who holds the ropes. Is the final decision made by the person who obstructs the viewing, or the viewer’s own body?
Berlin… The city that carries countless historical events and people in its bosom. The pavements that witnessed so much greet us: Goethe’s “Ich bin der Geist der stets verneint”, Rosa Luxemburg’s “Ich war, Ich bin, Ich werde sein”, Zişan’s “Jeder name in der geschichte bin ich und das ist ein anderes”, Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner”. In İz’s piece, The Course of Historical Revolution, these words flow alongside the streets. The Zişan character whose spirit is being called reminds us of Anna Waldman’s poem, Fast Speaking Woman: “…I am the shouting woman… I am the high-heeled woman … I am the automobile woman…I am the ignorant woman. I am the all-knowing woman”. The woman who can be at many places at once with her many facades…; impossible to classify with her multitude of identities … The lines also describe the one month of the Apartment Project Berlin; a lot of action in the one frame, being many people in the same day … Schizophrenia.
When entering the location from outside, a notice becomes visible upon turning left: “Burada Değerli Bir Şey Gömülü/Something Valuable is Buried Here”. It’s unclear what is buried and who has buried it. One must dig and look in order to find out. Taking into consideration the fact that value is a subjective concept, what or who has assigned value to these buried objects? A legend is in the making, and whether to believe it or not is up to you. The manipulation of history, myths, speeches in the hands of people. The refinement of the neighborhood and the fact that the artists return home at the end of the month add value to the buried treasure. This sign exists there as a testimony to the possibility of discovering one’s own personal treasures when one returns from an exile. Another work that directly involves the center originated from the life witnessed there. <-x-> and everybody is an enables us to follow the circulation of simple objects by mapping out their motion from inside to outside/ and outside to inside. The work carries these lines which appear two-dimentional into being 3 dimentional by creating a flow of the objects down the wall.
By unfolding that which is abstract, we are told the story of the circulating objects. Artifacts of the performance lay strewn about; Hanging costumes, musical instruments, the recording of the performance, and opposite it, On a mood swing, that reflects the bond between Berlin and music.. Electronic music is one of the main factors that changed Berlin and turned it into a dream city for European youth. Producers and dj’s such as Pantha du Prince and Till von Sein appear in Ilgin’s work through various codes. The names and music pieces associated with Club culture are so entwined that on one hand they reflect the sub-culture’s culture and perception, and on the other hand song titles come together to form a story or situation. Ilgin has cut up the song titles and glued them in a notebook from which an infinite number of word associations and combinations can be made. Poems grow out of them. The earphones worn while examining this notebook and this `quiet` communication with those around brings to mind the famous “Silent Disco”s of Berlin. A loud silence which can not be heard from outside, but which leads you and the other to a shared experience…
As mentioned, the show window is a border here, but it also is a binding factor. The three works being side-by-side is meaningful , especially regarding the parts stuck in between. Numerous prints of the Karl Marx portrait we are so familiar with are hanging on the display inside. This version is the linoleum print by Namık İsmail which appeared in the 1919 Independence/Kurtuluş (Befreigung) magazine. When we go outside we see that behind every portrait there is.-__-. and participants’ drawings in reply to İz’s question:“ I wonder what Marx would look like from behind?” You need to be outside in order to see the drawings. Through this activity Marx’s face(!) changes and is reinterpreted to suit the day. A little ahead we view the quiet Berlin tour Özgür took on bike. It’s almost like we are following him; we are inside looking out through the lens of the monitor, whereas the outside is actually outside the show window. As the camera quivers and shakes, we can’t be quite sure where Özgür/we/you are going. This journey is right next to Yasemin’s Best Wakes : a collaboration work of video, cards and packages. Yasemin sways about ,reading stories outloud, delirious Roaming around in her nightgown, she speaks out loud in the night… Is she talking to herself like a schizophrenic, or is she addressing us? It’s difficult to tell in the dim light of the center. Schizophrenia is tangible in “being this and that at the same time”, in the cards, in the cigarette packages. Different states of the same woman. Two states of a person or situation. Personalities that become this, and then, that.Just ahead is the sculpture of Celalettin Kesim who was murdered by Turks in 1980 due to his political views , just as he was leaving the mosque . Does immigration make life harder and lead to a more radical grasp of our roots? Who is radical? Who draws the line when defining radicalism?
Next to the sculpture you can see the stamps prepared by Suat, modeled after the stamps prepared for Kesim. On the mirror these words appear upside down and from right to left, legible only through a mirror reflection: “One history coming from remote lands will head towards distances. The story I am about to tell is the the history of those defeated who could not tell their own stories.” The written signs I will add are hanging. The mirror reflects you and the one in the background, making the one in the background noticeable. It’s difficult to decipher this without the help of a mirror. The mirror reflects both the sculpture and you, and then the inside and the outside. In the same area two closed and sealed envelopes tied together lay on the table. Opening one you free the other, but it loses its significance in a sense. Eveywhere in the room one can notice different facades of `two`, the binding, yet separating quality of it, its splitting power and the feeling of indecision and mistrust it creates.The entrance,at the same time, the exitIn 1928 Kaestner depicted Berlin as the city of rushes and crowds, describing it as noisy and chaotic in his novel. When we envision İstanbul and Berlin, sounds echoing from near and far, ups and downs and mystifiying scenes and places come to mind. Cacophony… The main difference between İstanbul and here is that here there is a center which serves the purpose of ‘control station’. A multitude of inspirations experienced both from the streets, and from encounters within the center Ausgang/Eingang – where is the entrance/inside, where is the exit/outside? Above the entrance/exit door which connects the two parts of the center, there is a drawing of a woman wearing an oxygen mask. Those who have spent the full month here state that this drawing is an accurate expression of what has transpired here; Moments which drain one’s body and soul, questions floating around in your head, difficulties encounted as the answers are itemized, open-ended questions, repetitions… Being able to focus and produce together without being held back by restrictions set by the concept of success is the originating point of this project; being insired by one another and by the city, that is the gist of it. Creating the archeology of all that has been experienced. Everything is thrown about , or more so, gently let go of and left into the void.. To start all over once again…
 One of the expressions to describe the center
 James Elkins’s book, Pictures of The Body: Pain and Metamorphosis , may be referred to for further information
 More information may be found in Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation
 Goldberg, R. (2011). Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. London: Thames&Hudson, s.69
* One of the questions asked during the discussions
 Still there,2012
 “I am the spirit of eternal objection” Goethe, Faust, 1808/ “I was,I am, I will be” Rosa Luxemburg, 1919/ “ Each name in history is me, and I, them” Zişan, 1919/ “I am a Berliner” J.F. Kennedy, 1963
 Lee Garcia and Çiğdem Hasanoğlu, `Burial`, framed A4 black and white digital print
 Özgür Erkök, Silent Disco on Bike, Video 4’50’’
 Metzger, R. (2007). Berlin In The 20s. London: Thames&Hudson, s. 23
Özgür Erkök Moroder
Let us first note that the project initially began as “Re-Locate-Berlin”. Re-Locate, which took place on May 2011 in the Balkans with the help of 7 artists, was the beginning of the tarvelling workshop project, and focused on the issues of the exchange of citizens between countries, borders and cultural transitions. Due to A.P. being moved to Berlin and the fact that its first exhibition focused on worker immigration and the multicultural society in Germany through a similar approach as Re-Locate, it was initiliazed as part of a series of projects. However, the “Underconstruction” sign which was in the show window during the welcoming party for the participants on September 1st, later became the new name of the project after the deliberations of the first week. Since the project had evolved from being ‘on the go’ to being ‘rooted’, rather than “relocating” itself, the focus was now on the practicality and progress of life and production conditions in the new center. The realization that “we are under construction ” led to common agreement that we would continue under the name of “Underconstruction-Berlin”. This first joint decision was the first of many collaborations to follow.
“Underconstruction Berlin” Sunar: Atölye: “Vitrinin gözü bizde”
Bir ülkedeki genel gündelik giysiler, başka bir ül- kede kostüme dönüşebilirler. Giysiler kültürel ve sosyal normların gösterenleri işlevini görürler. Ve kostümler fantezilerin ve ritüellerin araçları olarak kimlikleşirler. Sosyal tavır ve davranışlar kostüm- lere aktarılsaydı ne olurdu? Sizi hep beraber gün- delik ritüellerimiz, sosyal beceriksizlerimiz ve kim- likler üzerine kurduğumuz fanteziler adına kostüm yapmaya davet ediyoruz.
“Kostümlerim kimliğimin aynasıdır.”
Zeki Müren Klasik Türk Müziği Solisti ve Bestecisi
“Vitrinin gözü bizde” başlıklı kostüm atölyesi “Underconstruction Berlin” projesi katılımcı sanatçılarının ortak çalışmasıdır.
“Underconstruction Berlin” Presents: Workshop: “ Display window is watching us”
Everyday outfits in a country becomes a costume in another country. Clothes works as the signifiers of the cultural and social norms. And costumes embodies as the tools of the fantasies and the rituals. What if social attitudes are transposed as costumes? We are inviting you to make costumes altogether for our everyday rituals, social disabilities and fantasies on identities.
“My costumes are the mirror of my identity.”
Zeki Müren Turkish Classical Music Performer and Composer
Costume workshop titled as “Display window is watching us” is a collaborative project of the par- ticipant artists of “Underconstruction Berlin”
Straight from the start there were various discussions re- garding “ The Show window is watching us”, the costume workshop of the third week.. At the peak of these deliberations were the “Lost -Vermisst” posters which became an issue during the participants’ stay in Berlin (4). This campaign which the German Interior Affairs Ministry put into action on September 21st aimed at putting `spying citizens` into action in order to prevent Islamic radicalism (5). Participants argued about what type of a reaction could be shown to those who define radicalism through the image of the covered up female. Many discussions took place on how the spectrum for such a definition could be widened and how a counter argument based on the notion of costumes could be used. In conclusion, it was agreed upon that getting involved in the daily politics of a city they would be visiting for only a month would prove to be futile, and that this issue could not be thoroughly undertaken in such a short amount of time. Again with radicalism in mind, much thought was given to the idea of a reactionary costumes workshop. The main concept undertaken was how social views and behaviors can be expressed and formulated through costumes.
4) http://www.initiative-sicher- heitspartnerschaft.de/SPS/DE/ Projekte/ProjekteInitiative/Be- ratungsstelle/beratungsstelle. html
5) The posters mentioned which caused a stir in the me- dia showed a concerned letter written by a relative about a loved one, with the image of a woman with a headscarf and a Middle-eastern man. The for- mat was the same as in “Lost ” posters, but wordplay had been used. The posters read : “ We have lost our son/daugh- ter; we don’t know him/her anymore”. The aim of these posters was to encourage people to call a hotline and seek assistance if they had any suspicions or concerns about their loved ones and neighbors becoming radicals. Following public outrage, this campaign which portrayed Muslims as potential criminals was promptly cancelled.
Not the Conclusion but Remnants
What happened at Hertzberg 13 throughout the month of September? What is “Underconstruction-Berlin”, the first exhibition of Apartment Project-Berlin, which opened on September 27, whispering to us? What happened as it was materializing? What was accomplished and what is still being done? How viable is it for someone visiting the exhibition after its opening to follow the one-month progression of the project? The matter in concern is a cluster of conditions where the process and its repercussions have no direct correlation. Twelve participants who set forth with their individual projects lived, worked and produced together in the Apartment Project center. Those who together spread the project into various branches were locals Ingo and Bert who were a part of the production process, Çiğdem Hasanoğlu who was invited by Lee Garcia, Ibrahim’s partner Mehmet Can Koçak, Steffi Weisman , who took part in one of the Monday demonstrations and observer Göksu Kunak who kept a written account of the project. The relocation of the project from Istanbul to Berlin enabled it to reconstruct its identity as a meeting, living and working hub. This launch of Apartment Project-Berlin as an adaptible, multi-purpose center allowed the participants of “Underconstruction” to push the limits of its flexibility into entirely new directions. In practical terms the mutual interaction between the participants and the center affected and defined many aspects of the project such as: individual and shared daily schedules (cooking, dishwashing, cleaning), allocation of time and space (the center and daily costumes), alternating work groups of 2,3 or 5 and the general flow of the project (planning, changes, cancellations, unexpected developments).
Workshop area, mezzanine, kitchen, kiosk, basement, exhibition area… How much does naming the various parts of the center tell us about their actual function? It is worth noting that every object in every corner of the location were continuously shuffled around throughout the month, based on the specific functional purposes in mind. This state is the driving force behind the collaborative works “<-x-> and everybody is an” in “Lost&Found”. While the fact that the center was still under construction at the beginning of the project was initially thought to be a disadvantage, it proved to be one of the defining factors in establishing flexibility. For instance, this allowed the kitchen which already served both as a meeting room and workshop, to also be used for parties with the help of a corkscrew which <-x> fashioned out of a stick and a long screw.
The thin line between Private and Public Space: Display Window
The other concepts that the center itself influenced were socialization and privacy. The thin line between private and communal space transcended into the habitants’ lives and work , and found its way into the show window, forming an existence of its own. “Show window” was not only a metaphor for this thin line, but also the line itself. When you take into consideration the synergy of the entire center , the establishment of privacy was one of the main themes of the whole process.
Everything that happened throughout the month was visible by the public, the inquisitive glances of the neighbors, the people who finally gave in to their curios- ity “I live across the street. I’ve been watching you but have no idea what’s going on here”. “What is this place? What do you do here?” These questions were constantly asked from the beginning, not only by the participants to themselves , but also at discussion stations.
_I feel much more inside when outside (3)
(3) Yasemin in her nightgown and glittering gold shoes, drinking her morning coffee on the bench in front of the show window.
Chemistry and Risk
During the preliminary meetings which took place in Istanbul before the relocation to Berlin, each participant presented their own individual Project, but also brainstormed about establishing a collective work model and discussed which methods could be followed to achieve this goal. One common concern was about the visa issue (unlimited travel). Alongside participants who already had a clear vision for their individual project, there were also those who set forth with flexible ideas and drafts to be finalized upon reaching Berlin. Furthermore, the reality that every participant had different methods also made the collective structure heterogenous. Some of the factors that made this possible were: Two members of the Atil Kunst collective joining the project as individuals, four members of the Ha Za Vu Zu collective joining at different times and contributing their own personal work, and Atil Kunst and Ha Za Vu Zu having previous shared experiences. The fact that the two collaborations came together again under different circum- stances created the appropriate environ- ment for the whole group to live and produce together. The rest was just group dynamics and taking risks .
Dear Oh My!Ceiling!
I do remember the first time we climbed on top of you and the talks about climbing on top you just before we did. Like dancing on a celiling. It was the night we had the opening of the space we were talking set under your shadow.
Near us we saw one of the big machines -probably that was to cut the woods to make you-. On the machine it was written: “Do not play. Work!” While we were looking at that and trying to catch the message in it the person who had created you said we could climb on top you. The ladder leaned against you so we did climb. Oh My!what an excitement it was. Just as we accustomed to do so; we were talking about our actual excitement on that very moment, famous Ilgamış, exclaimed Oh My!Ceiling!. Güçlü who heard Ilgamış took a chalk and wrote on ceiling “Oh My!Ceiling!”. After that moment we called you “Oh My!Ceiling!”. I doubted were you the one who keep two walls straight up? two walls that you laid in between.