A Friendship Laboratory on Challenge and Transformation

Photo by Vala T. Foltyn

3 days, 10 hours a day
International Performance Art Festival 2019, Warehouse9
curated by Emma Castro Moller and Jorgen Callesen
with the collaboration of Ari P. Büyüktaş

It’s a 30 hours long research based on the idea of exploring the possibilities of friendship for sharing collective paths to break boundaries and become more free. What happens if we don’t force but push each other to pass through inner enemies while holding each other’s hands? Could it create a collective space and time to heal the self with the presence of the other? Could friendship be transformative through a connection of ourselves with each other? How do we discover and recover intimacy in a friendship laboratory?

A friendship laboratory on transformation and challenge is a long durational performance project stemming from the artists personal story. In their journey for around 10 years, Ari and Leman put an effort to create non hegemonic and non normative spaces and relations in all they’ve been into. They have questioned ethics, politics and aesthetics, thought about death, life, wounds and vulnerability, talked about love, sexuality, the body and becoming, organized several queer events in Istanbul queer scene and translated and published some queer books as part of a queer books series, Queer Düş’ün they had been in the advisory team between 2012 – 2019 in Sel Publishing House. When IPAF’s invitation has came to Leman, they were working on a new writing about friendship and it gave birth to the idea of taking their friendship for creating a laboratory to dig into their inner self, facilitated by their connection.

Photo by Jakob Tekiela

A friendship laboratory on transformation and challenge is a research of the transformative and healing effect of intimacy and connection. The performance gets its inspiration from a curiosity about taking friendship from its habitat and examining the friends in an experimental environment. It works on two layers: While the artists are putting their inner selves under the scope to wander on their depths, simultaneously they invite the audience to observe their connection and their way of being and affecting each other.

Photo by Amalia Kasakove

Firstly, Ari and Leman have built the laboratory by creating some transparent layers on the space with wooden pipes, red rope and plastics surfaces written some excepts from their writing on friendship, a little rock (or a big stone) tied by a red thick rope which had two tips.

They start all their body covered by tapes and peel off the tapes in the first hours, pull and push the little rock (or the big stone). They read and perform some parts of their text. They experience time and intimacy, wound and healing. They explore aloneness and togetherness, some ways of connection with the self, with each others, with the space and the audience.

The project has been created with the support of Warehouse9 International Performance Art Festival curated by Emma S. Castro Moller and Jorgen Callesen.