looking after a rose

Photos by Gülbin Eriş, Kayhan Kaygusuz

2018
Live performance
28 days without interval
“Needed: You, a 672 Hours Long Live Process”
curated by Simge Burhanoğlu
16 february-16 march 2018.
Istanbul

if they ask me what I’ve done these past years;
I admired the beauty of a thorned rose and hung onto it as I tried to keep it alive.


looking after a rose
takes place 24 hours a day for a moon cycle, 28 days, in a room of 7 square meters covered with soil, planted little rose trees. The room is separated from the audience with a glass pane in which the audience sees the inside of the room with a filter and not seen from the inside. The artist presents an invitation to the audience to enter the room one by one by keeping the door from time to time. They cut a rose in every sunrise, spend the whole day by looking at the rose, and in every sunset they makes a cut in their arm with a scalpel (that is called “time cut” by them) and hang the rose on the wall.

The performance that the artist describes as a deep diving into innerselves, takes its conceptual framework from the personal lives’ closing into a pessimistic and helplessness sense by Turkey’s political atmosphere and the effort to hold onto the art which is considered as an effort to keep alive a beauty in all these by the artist. With this performance, for the first time, the artist intervenes in their body by emphasizing the damage done by the feeling of helplessness and of closure, and by putting a filter between themself and the audience for the first time in their performances, they try to reveal the self-concealment which is collectively contained within political atmosphere of Turkey.



A post letter:

“every day started from one branch of rose and ended on my skin while I passed through my depths, my far ends in the journey of looking after a rose. in the room I inhabited for 28 days without getting out, under the bed I slept for 28 nights, there have been times that I saw the ground was full-covered by black scorpions. I’ve passed from my deepest darkness. thereby I, sometimes, wanted to burn, to set afire my diary I kept a record of my weakness. thereby I, sometimes, wanted to throw myself out of window.

I did not burn my diary. I did not throw myself out. in my room that the floor was covered with soil, I stayed with a rose branch every day.

because I wanted to have the knowledge of going down under the deep water haven’t seen a light for thousands years.

because I believed that there is no power as transformative as the knowledge of self. and moreover transformation is only possible by the knowledge of self.

because I believed that 10(+2) people showing the will power to go inside a building and 10(+2) people opening themselves up to others has the power to change the world.

after 28 days the bed became a part of mine, after the performance I comprehended it when I turned to my own and saw that I can look under the bed wherever I’m just by closing my eyes.

under my bed I saw a nervous and scared deep-water-creature. soft. without a shell. the reason why they get angry was stemming from this possibility of being hurt because they had not a shell to protect theirself.

nowadays that dee-water-mollusc doesn’t need to hide under bed. they didn’t only get used to the light, they even liked it.

to the people who made this journey possible;
first of all to Gaye and Ömer Burhanoğlu that made this building possible,
to Simge Burhanoğlu who made this process possible with the belief in touching people, in human beings and in journey,
and to the realization of a dream that created by her and where I am so happy to be part of, to Performistanbul,

to Derya Dinç, if she didn’t build the path day and night, we would have been devastated,

to Ekin Bernay, with her relieving voice that comes from the next room,

to I. Ata Doğruel with his music coming from upstairs,

to MK Yurttaş and Aslı Dinç who showed sharing can remove the differences between species,

to Gülhatun Yıldırım who redefined the boundries between inside and outside while staying outside of the building she made real a form of being inside,

to Özlem Ünlü that reminded me again that performance is a healing process,

to Batu Bozoğlu who opened new perspectives in my mind about body-sound-boundries with making his body a apparatus for sound,

to Ebru Sargın who put her privacy on display with placing a camera in her house,

to Selin Kocagöncü, who made people feel the beauty of being alone in dark with their own bodies

to our volunteers that worked hard; Cemre, Enes, Hüseyin, Fulya, Gamze, Su and Uğur,

to Ali Ihsan who was the biggest viewer of 9 works and to all security team,

to everyone whom was in the kitchen of Needed: You,

to all the audience that came for 28 days (and they were the ones who were creators of this performance with or without knowing it),

and for sure to Kayhan Kaygusuz and Gülbin Eriş who recorded the process in a perfect way,

with gratitude…”

leman
16 april 18
istanbul