In the One Thousand and One Nights, Shahrazad was obliged to recount tales night after night in order to remain alive. The characters, as if they wish to share her destiny, appear again in the subsequent tales, thus becoming a part of the cycle and assuring the perpetuation of the narrative. For me these narratives, which the One Thousand and One Nights repeatedly constructs, this endless cycle, seems to want to keep something a secret, or hide a lost piece from us and stall us by directing our attention elsewhere. I want to allow that lost piece, whatever it is that is concealed to expose itself.
What underlies the stories, the lies, the songs that women make up and the novels they write in order to cope with violence is a desire to redefine sexuality to open up a space of freedom and break away from the controlling and classifying gaze.
The insurmountable urge within women that keeps them alive also throws them right in the middle of dreams and the symbolic system. In order to shake off the crushing repression of the gaze, they subvert it and create a new space for themselves. The triangular mirrors that harbour possibilities for multiple connections, get together to form a structure that is open to multiplying continuously by folding. In fact, this world where perspective is excluded constitutes exactly an ephemeral existential possibility for girls.
Off the Mirror, in the cyclical flow where narratives beget narratives, girls and boys perform a game of bawdiness. In fact, their gestures which reflect in the mirrors are possessed and reconstructed by the mirrors. While the brunette girl reads a passage from the One Thousand and One Nights in the hole where she hides, the other figure thinks that she can create a memory by recording the brunette on the mirror.
However she does not like what she hears, and her efforts end with the throwing away of the book. The girls who hug each other and converse in a hole, become startled by the unexpected appearance of the vaginal slide of a shark and the conversation dies…
Here, the drawings, which have always shown me the way and played a crucial role in shaping what goes on in my mind, join in the game as actors and this represents the genesis of different forms.
Girls who make a life for themselves in the mirror, react against the Porter’s efforts to denominate each and every time. Loves transform into hatred, compassion into loathing, whistles into caws, home into hell, woman into animal and joy turns into rage and mounts up. In this way they create their own cycles on the mirror by endeavouring to subvert the gaze. They leap in haste from here to there, nurturing tales with materials, knowing that they would cease to exist the moment they stop.
Spaceliner, curator Barbara Heinrich, ARTER, Istanbul, 2015
Installation view from Spaceliner, ARTER, Istanbul, 2015