Silent Stories of Istanbul

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~700m of nylon thread / 4 needles / 2 pieces X 4m red ribbon**

MIXER gallery Istanbul, Turkey, in the framework of “IPA Istanbul 2014”
Duration 2 hours
I extended 60 lines, each approx.11+ meters long, from one chain-link fence surrounded column, to another, extending them as strong as I could. Afterwards I fastened one of the two pieces of red ribbon to my palm with two of the needles, and put the other one into my mouth. Slowly I unrolled the 4 meters of the ribbon from my mouth. After that I turned the fastened ribbon around my head and fastened it to my ear with the other two needles.
This performance is a result of my two weeks in Istanbul and the research into the subjects of woman’s role in the Turkish society. I was researching the theme of domestic violence in Turkey, which dragged along the subjects of Islam Law, interpretations of holy texts, respect, authority, hierarchic structures, authoritarianism. Nevertheless my impressions & research results might be all wrong as they in any case started out from what Wittgenstein calls “queer”* knowledge.

*”It is this part of knowledge, uncredited, even unrecognized, before the hegemony of the sense world that Wittgenstein calls “queer”. It is “queer” knowledge because it’s entirely individuated, untraceable, illogical, without pattern, shifting from person to person – and for all that no less real. It is “queer” too, because it is unauthorized knowledge, in the sense that it evades the communal usage with the track record behind it that commands obedience, conditions responses and delimits the knowable.”
p.171-172, “Perform the Body / Perform the Text”, ed. by Amelia Jones & Andrew Stephenson, 1999

**As a part of Turkish wedding ceremony, a red ribbon is tied around the waist of a bride by her brother as a sign the bride is a virgin

Photos by Numan Okutan

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