ONE, 2017

Nazlı Gürlek

3 hours

Performer: Aslı Bostancı
Performance Curator: Simge Burhanoğlu

Sound Design: Yusuf Huysal

Istanbul Biennial Parallel Event in Collaboration with ANAMED and Performistanbul
The performance is organized parallel to ANAMED’s exhibition entitled “The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük” that celebrates the 25th excavation season of the Çatalhöyük Research Project. In “ONE” Gürlek brings the 9000-year-old Çatalhöyük archaeological find back to life and presents it to the audience from an artistic point of view. The performance is also an attempt at an artistic adaptation of the archaeological methodology of the Çatalhöyük project based on “reflexivity, interactivity, multivocality, and contextuality.”

“Movement is not something the body does. Movement is the body itself. During a trip to Çatalhöyük in the summer of 2016, I encountered a wall painting, which seemed to me to mimic the body – it seemed to move. Since then, I’ve been contemplating its meaning. Thought to have been painted around 9000 years ago for a ritual, this painting is at once kinetic, volatile, fluid and hollow. It is both abstract and somatic. It reminds me of flesh, bone and nerves; of corporeal vigour; of rivers that flow unhindered; of life-giving energy, the power of creation and the boundless source. “ONE” is the product of this process of meaning-making; the first stop; a ritual.

Interacting with images, objects and sounds, the performer embarks on an excavation into the depths of her body. The movement of bones, veins, cells, the pineal gland and the spinal chord display a choreography. This is, in a way, the choreography of water, which suffuses the body and binds its parts together; uniting us with each other and with oceans, seas, rivers and all existing forms of life.”

Nazlı Gürlek

“The Curious Case of Çatalhöyük”

Çatalhöyük is a Neolithic settlement, located in the Konya plain, in central Turkey. It has been excavated under the directorship of Ian Hodder since 1993 and has resulted in universally significant research. The exhibition project was developed under the supervision of Ian Hodder and curated by Duygu Tarkan with the contributions of researchers from the Çatalhöyük Research Project. Known for its fascinating cutting-edge archaeological research methods, and laboratory collaborations, Çatalhöyük is presented through experiment-based display methods including 3D prints of finds, laser-scanned overviews of excavation areas, and immersive Virtual Reality (VR) opportunities that bring the 9000-year-old Çatalhöyük settlement back to life. The exhibition is designed by PATTU Architecture and made possible by the support of Yapı Kredi Bank that is one of the main sponsors of Çatalhöyük excavations since 1997 and the technological sponsorship of Arçelik. The exhibition will remain open at the ANAMED Gallery in Istanbul until 25 October 2017.

Nazlı Gürlek

Nazlı Gürlek is an artist, curator and writer based in Istanbul. She is the founder of UMA, an interdisciplinary platform for creative research and production rooted in ancient pagan traditions of Anatolia. Most recent curatorial positions include Curator of the Collection at Borusan Contemporary (2014–15) and curator of programmes at Maçka Sanat Galerisi (2011–12), both in Istanbul. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London, and a BA in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. Gürlek has also worked as a curator-in-residence at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, and took part in Independent Curators International’s curatorial intensive programs ‘From Official History to Underrepresented Narratives’ at CCA Derry-Londonderry, and ‘Curatorial Seminar in Istanbul’ where she presented her curatorial research papers at CCA Derry-Londonderry and SALT Galata (2013). She is the author of a few publications including “Nature is Our Body,” ArteEast Quarterly: The Global Platform for Middle East Arts (Spring 2016), “Sarkis and When Attitudes Become Form” (SALT Istanbul, 2013) and İnci Eviner monograph (Revolver, 2011). Her writings appear in Frieze, Camera Austria, Art Asia Pacific, Flash Art International, The Exhibitionist. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London, and a BA in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. /

Photo: Wall painting, circa 6500 BC, Jason Quinlan and Çatalhöyük Research Project.


©Nazlı Gürlek and Performistanbul