Posts in Category: art

I often pretend that I am not an immigrant, 2008

I often pretend that I am not an immigrant, 2008

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Curating at “The Singular” exhibition by Pinar Canpolat at Petit Coin Cafe/London

Curating at

Singular is a new series of paintings by London-based artist Pinar Canpolat, painted recently in  London. 
Canpolat’s work here has mostly been concerned with the experience of alienation. Singular follows her interest in contemplating loneliness found in crowded modern cityscapes. Being together simultaneously with feeling isolated are clearly a contradiction.
When art is not abstract it is often generally described as being figurative. Pınar’s persons can definitely be described as figurative. They are close to being realistic still on the other hand there seems to be an uncanny side to them breaking them up within the crowds with invisible contours to avoid genuine human contact. Although they are beings like you and me they are lacking basic human competences…maybe they have forgotten about these at some point in their lives and developments…
Canpolat’s works reminds us that Art has this special ability to make us see, question and to change our ways with the others whom we happen to co-inhabit the world with.

Hulya Ucar / Curator

Jeg hedder Hulya

Jeg hedder Hulya, et helt almindeligt dansk navn!

Det udtales lydret sådan her [Hylja]. Jeg skriver det gerne under min jobansøgning lige næstefter min underskrift. Jeg vil gerne at det bliver behageligt for arbejdsgiveren at udtale mit navn når jeg/hvis jeg kommer til jobsamtalen. Men ogsa for mig, jeg vil gerne vaere Hulya pa tyrkisk.

H – umlaut eller u med to prikker – L – engelsk Y eller dansk J – og A

H   – u   – l    – y   – a

Måske jeg er lidt ligesom min far, nemlig en der skriver om natten; Jeg har dog ikke lagt mine børn i seng men i stedet lagt London i seng (og har heller ingen orange skrivemaskine). Metropolen er gået til ro omend et par ambulancer, taxier og røde busser stadig kan høres ude fra min highstreet.

Jeg er vist et kært barn; jeg har haft mange navne/kælenavne ligesåvel som øgenavne og formelle kaldenavne.

I min skoletid var mit navn sjældent et problem alle udtalte det på dansk og jeg stillede aldrig spørgmålstegn ved det. Det var blot sådan det var; så derhjemme var jeg Hulya udtalt på tyrkisk på den rigtige måde (det kaldte jeg det dog ikke dengang) og i skolen og ved offentlige instanser var jeg [Hylia, Hyrliga, Hylija,]. Jeg kunne blive udtalt på mange måder så når jeg sad i fx et venteværelse hos en speciallæge eller hos hudlægen så skulle jeg være ekstra opmærksom rent auditivt for mit navn kunne sagtens allerede være råbt op, for jeg vidste jo aldrig hvad jeg kom til at hedde den dag.. Jeg må have fortalt det til mine veninder i folkeskolen for da jeg skulle have isnet en fodvorte op til flere gange kom mine veninder selvfolgelig med op til hudlaegen i Hundige Centret. De ville også gerne vente i stor spænding på at mit navn blev udtalt skrupforkert så vi alle sammen kunne grine hojlydt af det. Det blev et ritual hver gang at de så tog med mig til hudlægen.

Det var i virkeligheden kun når der var vikar eller at jeg startede på gymnasiet eller på seminariet at der ved opråb af klasse-protokolen var øjeblikke hvor jeg nærmest følte at det var pinligt og skamfuldt at være tyrkisk og ikke have et dansk navn. Jeg sad og ventede på at mit navn skulle råbes forkert op. I dag tænker jeg at jeg forinden burde have lært min nye lærer eller vikaren hvordan mit navn skulle udtales så jeg ikke følte mig anderledes eller at læreren blev flov over at have udtalt mit navn forkert og sat mig i rampelyset. Jeg er selv uddannet folkeskolelærer og jeg gjorde i starten af min lærerkarriere meget ud af i dte mindste at udtale de tyrkiske og mellemøstlige børns navne korrekt, men overraskende nok blev jeg irettesat af elever der syntes det var flovt at deres navn blev udtalt på deres modersmål. Det var ikke dansk. De ville hellere hedde Ayse og ikke udtales med tyrkisk accent Aishe. Jeg gjorde det de bad mig om for måske ville jeg også helst udtales på dansk dengang jeg var skoleelev. Det får os nok til at føle at vi er danske mens vi er børn.

At ringe hjem til Annika endte altid i sjov og ballade, da hendes far nærmest altid tog telefonen når jeg ringede og råbte som en reaktion altid “Hulya, hvem er det der hyler” og ”der er en der hyler her i telefonen Annika” sa det kunne hores hele vejen ud af stuen og ind på Annikas værelse. Så der blev grint en hel masse hver gang jeg ringede til familien Lysskov Larsen.

Eller når man foretog et opkald til en ny person så kunne man risikere denne her: “Hulya hva for noget.. af hva behar. Kan man hedde det?”

Foran på de hvide rudekuverter igennem mit tidlige voksenliv, ventede jeg spændt på hvordan mit navn nu mon var stavet denne gang, for hvordan er det lige at man som sekretær eller adminstrativ medarbejder på Frederiksberg Kommune kan finde på at stave mit navn således; Hyrlige Vcar. Jeg er dog i min gymnasietid blevet kaldt Afskylia navngivet efter Skærmtrolden Hugo’s merchandise aka Afskylia-bolcher.

Inden jeg flyttede til London ville det have været utænkeligt for mig at have et ønske om at mine danske veninder skulle udtale mit navn rigtigt og at ejg ikke var 2 identiter ej heller 2 navne. Jeg ville gerne samles I et og smame navn udtalt pa tyrkisk og føle at ejg var stolt af at være tyrkisk og ikke skamme mig over min baggrund, som jeg ahvde gjort det igennem hele mit liv. Jeg ønskede at jeg kunne bruge visse tyrkiske ord blandt mine danske veninder og få dem indført I vores fælles ordforråd.Men selvom jeg engang imellem prøvede så var det skamfuldt.gad vide om de ved det?

Jeg ville gerne kalde min far for baba for det er det han er og min mor for anne. Og jeg ‘nskede inderligt at kunne bruge det I en sætning på dansk og bare lade ordet baba kravle forsigtigt ind og indtage sin plads ved siden af æ,ø og å’erne. Det ville have passet så godt og ingen skulle stille spørgsmålstegn ved det og vi sku heller ikke tale om det. det sku bare ske. men det er det stadigvaek ikke for mit vedkommende.

Eren min nevø på 5 år bad en dag sin far om at udtale hans navn som Eran med ‘a’ i, fordi pædagogerne I hans børnehave ikke kunne udtale det. Og det ma have betydet noget for ham. Jeg husker at Eren græd da han bad min bror om at han aldrig mere skulle kalde ham Eren, men istedet det i danske ører mere danskklingender Eran, som i Eran DD. I lang tid forsøgte min bror og hans kone at lære pædagogerne at udtale Erens navn,men det kunne de simpelthen ikke finde ud af. Og til sidst gav Eren op, det var hjerteskærende og hvor må det have været svært at være forælder i en sådan situation. Eren bor nu i istanbul og går på en engelsk-sproget international IB-skole og hans forældre nyder at bo udenfor DK.

Min niece Ronya ville være blond ligesom Rapunzel. Hun mente at når hun blev stor ville hun blive lyshåret ligesom Rapunzel. Det er disturbing for mig at vide dette.

I london boede jeg i en bedsit og min gode ven og nabo Rick havde en gammel bog fra et antikvariat der hed Most Common English names vistnok. Og jeg ønskede mig så inderligt den bog og at den kunne have en dansk søster-bog med de mest gængse danske navne. Og i den bog skulle der stå Hulya, Eren, Ronya, Hatice, Haydar, Sati, Huseyin, Melek, Eda, Melisa, Suna, Mitat, Deniz, Veli, Emine, Dogan og Emrah. Det er navnene på alle i min familie nemlig. Og der skulle være masser af andre navne på arabisk og pakistansk m.v. og kommunerne og skolerne skulle have en hver.

https://www.seslisozluk.net/en/what-is-the-meaning-of-h%C3%BClya/

 

 

Muslima.

Muslima.

Stencil on wood. Displayed at closed stall on Ridley Road Market in Dalston-London.

In the life of a claustrophobic or a review of “512 Hours” at The Serpentine Gallery:

In the life of a claustrophobic or a review of “512 Hours” at The Serpentine Gallery:

In my head even trying to plan to go to Marina Abramovich’s interactive (inclusive) performance felt scary for a long time. Exactly a months time. Maybe it was the past performances of her’s that were still haunting my mind, what would she be doing this time?

Then when I went to see the 2014 Pavillion at the Serpentine by Smilja Radic I realized that the Abramovich exhibition was still on too.

As I reluctantly and with baby steps approached the young host at the door to ask her whether the exhibition would at all be very scary for a claustrofobic as myself, she assured me that it wouldn’t be claustrophobic, nor intimidating. Still one could sense that she had been “London-trained” to keep the concept to herself and not giving away the details to the visitors coming to see the performance.

I found myself taking a deep breath and I went inside the gallery leaving the real world outside for a one in a quiet locker room, where one had to leave all of their personal belongings (here you should bear in mind that my bag is always packed with emergency-behavior in case I get scared of something).

But as I really wanted to see Abramovich and her new work, even I let myself be stripped bare of my possessions, leaving me only with an elastic wristband/strap with locker key and the clothes and shoes that I was wearing.

I was now being handed a pair of headphones that kept almost all sounds out. I didn’t like the soundproofing either. It felt lonely and isolating. Like being all alone in the world, but still being able to see others, but they wouldn’t be able to hear you. This was another phobia that I remember from the Coma film from my childhood and from the film Scream, where the girl killed was screaming but there was no sound and thus no one could hear her to save her from her murderer. I didn’t like this when I once watched a film late night as I was doing my teacher’s degree. It was about a man in surgery, he could feel and see everything that happened to him during the surgery, but he couldn’t talk or move. That was so frightening to me. (at least I know of other friends who has this phobia too!) I kept taking the headphones on and of my ears. I first had to understand the whole setting to also letting go of my hearing and feeling all alone in the world.

When I first went inside there was total silence (when moving the headphones, without them on there were still sounds but a tranquility something transcendental and almost religious was evident). This was a special space that had been created to facilitate both a loneliness and a spirit of togetherness for all of us.

The uncanny feeling that I felt all through the exhibition, seeing all these everyday simple things like a strap bed, (reminding me of an institution where you would have no say in your own life) but still being to scared to letting go of my control by simply laying in it and letting Abramovich’s young helpers dressed in black tuck me in. No, that was too much for me and then they would get really really close to me and I would create a scene because it would be too much for me and it would be very embarrassing and kill the whole spirit of the exhibition.

In the main room people where watching from where they where standing up against the walls. They where the newcomers in the middle some people where standing on a scene holding hands with their eyes closed. All very strange.I kept thinking how did they end up there, did they choose to just take somebody they didn’t know’s hand, I saw some where taken there by the helpers. It felt relaly strange. In the other room everyone was walking very very slowly.

I went out of the exhibition and couldn’t really make sense of it. I started talking to the host at the door about the whole thing, she didn’t give anything away still, but when I asked about where Abramovich was she told me that she had just been on a lunch break and that she was now in the toilet. I then got a bit excited and felt less scared now that I hadn’t been forced to stay inside the exhibition and had the assurance that I could leave anytime I wanted.There was nothing forceful about the exhibition.

I went in, left my things, took the ear phones. I stood a bit up against the wall as many others in the first room and suddenly Abramovich that had been come back from her break had been standing next to me and now left for the rooms with the beds. I didn’t want to immediately follow her therefore I stayed a bit more before going next door. But when I got in Abramovich had already taken one of the ebds and had already been tucked in. I wanted to stay in that room too and for a while I was standing in the door way and then pulled myself together to at least be able to sit on one of the beds. So I did. It felt good I even kept my ear phones own. It was a little bubble and it felt uncanny but safe. I laid myself on top of the sheets so that no one could come and touch me or tuck me in. I wanted things my way, in my pace. I was now on the bed.It felt amazing. I felt that it was ok to be me eventhough there were lots of other people there.my pace, my lentoness was ok. No one questioned it.

At the end I felt like I ddnt even want to leave the exhibition and this world, where I felt I belonged with my slow steps and movements from the 3rd room especially. I did notice that people was staring because of my enjoyment of the quietness and slow motionness of things.

A friend came from Denmark and I urged him and his daughter to go and see the exhibition, but then when they were telling me about the exhibition and I was telling them about my experiences there it wasn’t the same things we had been through. The whole exhibition was designed so that in the room where there had been beds the day I was there, there had been rice and lentils that needed to be sorted.

I cant stop thinking about the fact that Abramovich had planned that every day would be a bit different from the day before for her performances. This way someone coming to the show another day than me would get a totally different experience at her show. And thus no critic could really write about her show, unless he would go there every day and also wait till the show had ended.