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ACTION #2 Şiki Şiki Baba_with Kaba Hat

Rituals experimentation in a non-functional playful environment

Istanbul is Exhibitions!  Istanbul is Talks! Istanbul is Events
Performances! Shows! Happenings! Psssss-Baaam!
Market driven interventions, superficial political involvement, anachronistic public installations!
It seems like this bustling city of galleries is proud of its own shallowness.
The art scene is happily living in a detached numb sphere of self-legitimization.
What can an artist learn when confronted with such an isolated world? Considering the boredom of Istanbul’s art world, where should a Turkish young artist get inspiration from?
Where to find the proper environment to develop a performative dimension?
Danger lies in monotony.
How to escape from norms and restrictions of normality and truly enjoy the alternative reality of a separate world?
How to surf in a collective stream of adrenaline?
Where to rely on the bonding effect of collective risk taking?
Hippodrome and horse gambling. Where else?
The racing environment  creates a social micro-dimension characterized by absurd rituals, freed from inhibitions which lead to intriguing abnormalities in gambler’s body-language.
No better place to develop a new collective performative dimension.
We observe. We study. We test new rituals.
We start with 2 liras. After winning 4 in a row, we loose a total of 72 liras in the fifth race.

Totem Receipt #1:

  1. Observe.
  2. Take notes on any detail you notice.
  3. Let the prophet arise from the crowd.
  4. Hide the prophet’s sight.
  5. Test and share the prophet’s prophecies.
  6. Select a table to play by trying different tooks with people sitting.
  7. From the selected table, pick the horse to bet on by holding as many mikados on the people’s limbs until they fall.
  8. Make sure they all wear horse hair ties.
  9. Let the mascot manifest himself.
  10. In case of success, let the mascot pick all the horses throughout different    contests with the prophet.
  11. Make sure to keep taking notes.
  12. Let the mascot smoke half a cigarette.
  13. Let the mascot grab a bite.
  14. Don’t let anybody talk for 2 minutes before the race.
  15. During the race make all the observers pull each other.
  16. Bet everything and cheer.
  17. Replicate steps 11 to 13.
  18. Get inspired by gipsy kids.
  19. Destroy a dollar per each kid.
  20. Replicate steps 17 to 19.
  21. Let all the spectators destroy a dollar.
  22. Replicate steps 13 to 21.
  23. Cover the mascot’s face with dollars.
  24. Let the mascot chew the borek until he feels like stopping.
  25. Replicate steps 13 to 22.
  26. Let the mascot spit the borek he chewed before.
  27. Make sure to involve more people in the pulling process.
  28. Replicate steps 13 to 25.
  29. Win and wait.
  30. Think twice before betting again.

ŞİKİ BABA betting is infectious.
with Kaba Hat





ACTION#1 Luxurious sniffing_with Nerolé

Notwithstanding the world’s endless loss of scent caused by the never-ending urban transformation, surprisingly there’s no UN file on deprivation of smell.  No existence of any UNHCR campaign on odors’ evictions. Not even a NGO concerned with the weakening of olfaction.

What made the world so numb?
We smell. People smell. Cities smell.
Everything has and should always have the right to smell.
The world might not be ready.
Istanbul certainly isn’t and Fikirtepe makes no difference.
The rapid transformation of the neighborhood won’t leave space to Nostalgia. Snif snif.
While the real estate market drives the future, the peculiar smells of the neighborhood will be lost forever.
Are neighbors aware of it? Is nonsense a fertile device to open the discourse?
Could collective smelling trigger the neighborhood reaction then?

Unexpectedly the neighborhood opened its doors to the smell expert; from stores to houses, workshops and streets everything was carefully smelled and archived.

Fikirtepe is still alive and smelly

IMG_7194 1899252_907243492620323_1378820952840024587_o fikirtepe IMG_7207 IMG_7230 IMG_7239