Darağaç and Pelesiyer presents: “Those who we don’t speak of”
Hayy Open Space is happy to host Pelesiyer of Ankara and Darağaç of İzmir at Piyaleoğlu Han for the exhibition titled “İyi Saatte Olsunlar” between March 19 and April 20, 2019.
The initiatives Pelesiyer and Darağaç collected oral sources to reveal the myths and superstitions that belong to the communities that surround them in the exhibition titled “İyi Saatte Olsunlar”. The myths inspired Papatya Tıraşın to write stories, and those stories in turn inspired the members of both initiatives to start this exhibition. The venue itself becomes a part of the exhibition, in which Pelesiyer and Darağaç present paintings, installations, videos and photographs.
Pelesiyer contributes to the exhibition with the video-performance titled “Urasa”. The work takes us back to Dam, the first exhibition space of Pelesiyer that the locals usually avoid since they believe it is haunted. Here they practice Urasa (a ritual that dispels diseases and sinister souls). Reading aloud a fictional text titled “Eski Köyde Bir Akşam Vakti” (An Evening in an Old Village) by Papatya Tıraşın, Pelesiyer creates a new myth in Dam that echoes in that desolate abandoned land. The text is simultaneously recited by five speakers from Pelesiyer, mingles with the supernatural stories of the past and creates an interdimensional spiritual paradox. Echoing and overlapping, the stories possess the power to imprison the characters from those myths in-between various layers of the land. Overlapping voices create a textual knot and engender a ritual.
Ayşegül Doğan from Darağaç contributes to the exhibition with a sound installation based on the text titled “Hatçe”, using documents and photographs. Ali Kanal’s artistic intervention is about an orphan from the story, his identity and his symbolic grave. The metaphor of the drinking fountain that does not work anymore is taken up by Fatih Altan in his own artistic production. Cem Sonel participates the exhibition with the Led light installation titled “Allah Korusun” (God Forbid). Cenkhan Aksoy presents a dedicated installation titled “Ak sakallı gidince olanlar oldu” (It Went All Wrong Once the Old Man Disappeared). Tuğçe Akay’s installation brings together symbolic scenes from her archive of found photography based on the omnipresence of women in all stories.
Texts written by Papatya Tıraşın are presented in a dedicated installation in the exhibition.
Darağaç is a series of exhibitions. The idea was conceived in 2016 by the young artists of İzmir in their quest for an artistic space where one can form dialogues and engage in discussions with others. Darağaç is named after the Darağaç District, which stands in-between Halkapınar, the transportation hub of the city and Alsancak, the centre of the social life in İzmir. Darağaç is also known as one of the oldest settlement areas of the city.
Previously an industrial area, Darağaç (recently re-named as Umurbey District) came to be known as a settlement where artist studios meet industrial ateliers. The first studio founded in 2013 proved to be unprecedented in İzmir in its spirit. As the other members of the initiative settled into the district, the growing number of studios enabled closer relationships with the neighbours and created a new space for dialogue. Fifteen artists, two of whom were local artisans, organised the first exhibition of the initiative titled “DARAĞAÇ I bu arada” on June 10, 2016 on two intersecting streets. The feedback by those who explored the district thanks to the exhibition, as well as the interactions in the following year planted the seeds for the second exhibition. The second group exhibition titled “bkz.darağaç” presented works by 25 artists on six streets of Darağaç on September 29, 2017. The third exhibition titled “Darağaç III” was organized on October 5, 2018 by 28 artists. Ten artists were from outside of İzmir and exhibition presented 23 projects. As contemporary art gained more currency in the area and intermingled with the ateliers of industrial production, other exhibitions were also hosted in Darağaç.
The members of Darağaç’s organizing committee are Cem Sonel, Ali Kanal, Ayşegül Doğan, Tuğçe Akay, Cenkhan Aksoy and Fatih Altan. The initiative aims to create both short- and long-term projects as well as innovative artistic collaborations. Darağaç merges contemporary art and the dynamics of the local life. Questioning different perspectives of co-production, the initiative invites others to this very experience.
Pelesiyer is an art project founded in 2012 by Ali Şentürk, Alper Aydın, Hüseyin Arıcı, Mert Acar and Sultan Burcu Demir. Pelesiyer invites its participants to temporarily leave their personal understanding of art and the themes that they regularly deal with and produce at a space designated by Pelesiyer. While anyone with an interest in art can become a member of Pelesiyer, the initiative offers artists a brand new space where they are expected to create a brand new work unlike their previous artistic production. Designating a specific venue, Pelesiyer provides its participants with a new playground.
Pelesiyer is a word that the inhabitants of small towns and villages avoid in everyday speech. The word is used for places that are believed to be haunted. Production spaces of the initiative is selected based on this principle. Artists from Pelesiyer do not only let themselves to be carried away by the charm of their working space, but they also focus on their artistic production by forgetting about their daily anxieties.
Dam, Pelesiyer’s first venue and the first project, was organized in 2012 at a deserted place sixty kilometers away from Ankara, in a small town in Beypazarı, about a hundred meters away from the main road. In its second project, Pelesiyer participated in the event titled “Buradan Nereye? Kolektif Sanat Pratikleri” (Where Do we Go from Here? Practices of Collective Art) in 2016 at the Energy Museum/Control Room in İstanbul Bilgi University’s santralistanbul. In 2017 Pelesiyer participated in the exhibition titled “Komşuda Pişer Bize de Düşer” (a parallel event to the 15th Istanbul Biennial and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK) and exhibited a performative documentation titled “Pelesiyer Sofrası” in Halka Sanat Projesi. Finally, in 2018 the initiative participated in the 4th Mardin Biennial with a dedicated video work titled “Alargada”.
Graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Sociology. Since her nineteen, her stories have been published in various literary magazines. Her articles, interviews and essays appeared in various web pages, blogs and business magazines since 2000. In 2003 she started working as a copywriter in advertising agencies. There she wrote scripts for online games and commercials. In 2009 she co-founded GriZine, a website of culture and arts which is now inactive. She was the managing partner and the creative director of this website for six years. Currently she works as a writer and an editor, and lives in Kaş.
*Hayy Open Space is supported by SAHA Association and Roberto Cimetta.
We are grateful to Zeynep Yavuzcezzar and Hakan Saraç for their support.