Whose Silence Are You? was performed on December 10, 2011 by Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins and Leyla Levi at the gate of Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. This fifteen-minute performance was comprised of passages from Thomas Merton’s “Message to Poets” performed in Turkish and English, during the ceremonial changing of the guard. (photo by Alex Downs)
Whose Silence Are You? are site-specific responses to poetic texts set in Istanbul’s public spaces. These three installation and performance works are based upon the poems of Thomas Merton. Becoming Istanbul explores contemporary Istanbul through an interactive database of over 400 media. An up-to-date collection of artists’ videos, photography series, documentaries, news reports, cartoons and architectural projects, the database is organized according to 80 concepts that instrumentalize typical discourses relating to the city and suggest new points of view. Its media include the visual productions of artists and researchers who have problematized actors and phenomena typically disregarded in urban discourse, as well as the declarations of decision makers involved in Istanbul’s current transformations. The exhibition’s structure is far from linear. Each viewer may chart his or her own course through the database, making each experience of Becoming Istanbul original.
Kimin sessizliğisin sen?
Found poster fragments installation, Galata, Istanbul 2011
Collection SALT Museum
(This work is part of an on-going collaboration between Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins and Sean Culver based on the writings of Thomas Merton.)