17 – 31 July 2009
Currently the Apartment Project is working on its new project, ‘Reciprocal Visit’.
The concept of the project was developed by the founder of the initiative and video artist Selda Asal and the curation and organization of the project are undertaken by Serra Özhan. Participating artists include Endam Acar, Selda Asal, Volkan Aslan, Fatma Çiftçi, Zeren Göktan, Deniz Gül, Gözde Ilkin, Ceren Oykut, Gökçe Süvari and Sophia Tabatadze. The first round of this collective project was realized by their visit to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran in April 2009.
Between nations and states, which we can term as spaces of identity, besides physical borders there is a second set of borders that stem from the political problems between states and turn the physical borders into walls: whether you can pass or not is determined by the nationality on your passport and even a visa cannot help you a bit. This is a political wall that doesn’t let someone from Turkey to pass over to Armenia or vice versa. A similar border wall exists between Armenia and its eastern neighbor Azerbaijan.
Yet there are cultural exchanges that offset all the border stories set up by states. One of these is the tradition of reciprocal visit. As distinct from Western Europe and as is the case in most Arabic countries and Turkey, the culture of reciprocal visit still exists in Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia. For instance, just like it is the case in Turkey, the visits paid by the neighbors –even those that you are not acquainted with- are regarded as pleasant. It is actually what should be: a “must”. You go over with a box of sweets and say ‘hi’.
This project sets off to visit and to receive reciprocal visits in spite of the hostility of these states towards each other and to critically break down the physical, political and intellectual obstacles created by the borders. In this respect, a shared cultural value that makes borders meaningless, the tradition of reciprocal visit forms the basis of our project.
The collective undertook an experimental exercise that was created there and then throughout their journey by bus and train: different ideas emanating from the collective, different experiences brought on by being together and sharing, various narratives using different materials… Participants coming from various disciplines such as photography, video, music, performance, painting and sociology engaged in an experimental workshop consisting of photographs, films and texts created and interactions and talks experienced in places that they passed through and stayed.
The name of the project is ‘Reciprocal Visit’ because it is based on visits to Georgia, Armenia, once more to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran and the reciprocal visits of two artists from each of these countries: this is a familiar word for us and for the artists from these countries. It is a connecting word.
The second round of this project brings artists from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to Turkey in July 2009. They pay us a visit at DEPO and Apartment Project and take part in a two-term workshop. The resulting works will be exhibited at DEPO between November 20 and December 19, 2009.
Artists: Goergia: Sophia Tabatadze, Nadia Tsulukidze; Armenia: Sona Abgaryan, Tsomak Oga; Azerbaijan: Farid Rasulov, Ali Hasanov; Iran: Shahab Fotouhi; Turkey: Endam Acar, Selda Asal, Volkan Aslan, Fatma Çiftçi, Zeren Göktan, Deniz Gül, Gözde İlkin, Ceren Oykut, Gökçe Süvari
Project Coordinator : Serra Özhan
‘İade-i Ziyaret’i, Ziyaret Vakti!