Gizem Aksu · Jan 11 – Feb 21

Goodbye Note

Dear Lake Studios;

Here is the last night, last session in big studio.

The meaning of night, session, big, here are suddenly expanded now. Wauwww!

Thank you for holding space for my accordion heart for the last 6 weeks. My heart has been beaten here for 4 100 000 times approximately. Thanks for the fire, anger, love,incense can not lit in the studio,frostbite, ragas, ruk/root/kök, the fact that pandas have pancreas, closing, pattern, waltz with wounds.

Here is a gift for you by Nina Paley from Sita Sing the Blues.

Notes from Process

“Pain is a territory known by those who are in that land.“ Sonya Huber

I have spent 6 weeks in Lake Studios to research on wounds, pain, speechlessness and propripception. This trajectory has evolved from my broder research on physical, philosophical and socio-political implications on breath and breathing. As researching on how breath heals wounds -not only tangible, visible, physical wounds but also energytical, intangible ones-; speech and discourse as contextually produced and articulated breath took my attention in the context of identity politics during the residency process. As speech and discourse have power to heal historical wounds; they sometimes overpass, exclude the inexpressible ones. I researched on this tension between the power of discursive expression of embodied socio-political and cultural experiences, and impossibility of delivering the all depth of these experiences through verbal language. 

photo by Derin Cankaya

I conceptualize wounds as bodily opennings (physically or energetically) allow not only urgent chemical communication to recover but also cosmic communication in which bodymind and environment pour into each other. Wound as passage, wound as message, wound as antennas allow another way for connection, communication, protection, reception, perception, action. Sometimes wound is an expression of the inexpressible. Therefore, it may be hard to look at the wounds, and pass through the pain.This residency gave me space and time to look at my wounds, stare directly at them. With my left eye. Through and beyond a microphone. I spent time to “date my wounds“1, care the wounds, name the wounds. 

I care them with fake eyelashes as my eyelashes protect my eyes. How eyelashes connect to sensory system of my nervous system, I use fake eyelashes to shield, protect my wounds; to integrate them to my sensory system, so to my nervous system. I name them with silence, with sound; with breath but not with voice. They are my voiceless void. I date them with touch, not with numbers; I date them in infinity of energy. 

I invited my long-term collaborator Ah! Kosmos to work on the sound and silence of touching on these wounds burried under my skin.Instead of working a long composition, we chose to initiate shorter sound patterns. We worked to create short sound patterns in various ways and starting to discuss and eliminate the distant ones. The intensity and sensuality of sound matched with my quality and intensity of touch. Silence occurred in relation to breaks in which breath took attention over the touch.

photo by Maria Kousi

I also invited my long-term collaborator Derin Cankaya to work on visuals and videos in forest. From the beginning of the process, I was intended to spend some time outside because Lake Studios is surrounded by a very specific nature near lake and forest. When I spent some time in this imagery in public spaces, I had a sensation that the eyelashes became enegitical wings that my facial expressions flew away and wounds buried under my skin has wings. Wound with wings or/also wounds with wigs. We had some shooting in forest to observe what kind of expansions in context I would have if I install this body within nature. For the rest of the process, at some point, I chose to deepen outside trials and inside trials. Actually, I am looking forward to sparing some time in near future to develop the trajectories I discovered from outside trials.

This residency has been a process for me to discover an artistic language to look at my wound and the world through these wounds. This process has helped me to develop another level of artistic sensitivity towards people who created poems, proses, moves from their wounds; Mahmoud Darwish, Rukeli Trollmann, Sonya Huber and some others. They have helped me to carry “butterfly’s burden“2in my eyes and release dragon’s burden in my breath.

1Inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poetic heritage; “date your wound“.

2Inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poetic heritage; “Butterfly’s Burden“.