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Performance

Performance Home: Simla Civelek

Residency Series


In progress
2021 - 2022
Artists:
Simla Civelek

 

 

Performance Home: from Toronto to Turkey

In a sense, the idea for my residency formed in the summer of 2019 in Turkey before the pandemic and before I even knew about the possibility of a residency. While I visited my home city of Istanbul after a 13-year hiatus, I unknowingly germinated the urge to move back there for a year.

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic put a hold on my half-realized plans. My urge, fortified by powerlessness, transformed into a craving, an itch, a determination to explore the hunger I felt for Turkey.

This year, 2021, started with a concept of making a video in my childhood home in Istanbul. The apartment is uninhabited, complete with old furniture from 80s and 90s, covered with dusty white sheets, with shutdown old windows and blinds, dull musty air and perhaps old spirits. A time capsule from the last lived day of 1994 before our Canadian emigration.

What would be like to go back and record a walk-through of this space, like an audience-less performance, like a home movie of a ghost of a home? The camera as all-seeing eye, from my apartment in Toronto to our apartment in Istanbul, through a distance of 8,196.58 kms?

While I am creating this video in my mind (for now,) walking through the space in my memory, I am also creating actual videos for my day job of auditioning for commercials, film, and TV. Countless of takes for a 30-second footage of pretending to eat a salad or some chips while scolding my imaginary children, acting like a senator or a Middle Eastern engineer, suggesting organic rice to my neighbour, gardening with a surprised look on my face, reading a bowl of cereal like a crystal ball, drinking from a river, thanking the public for being vaccinated and waking up happy in bed…

So now I’m thinking about the absurdity of the correlation of these two notions in video. The manufactured actions of commercial acting and the archival footage of home, stacked together like a building.

There is a video somewhere.

Like the end of Covid, it is unhurried, throbbing, reluctant and eager.

 

[Image credit: Simla Civelek]

 

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