Suspended Song is coined after a composition written by Italian composer Luigi Nono in 1955-56. It is created from letters written by victims of Nazism for the human voice, chorus and orchestra, and its tune circulates between sounds and instruments that do not voice more than one note at a time. The exhibition is influenced from the song itself and its name, rather than the events and the period that it is dedicated to.
The exhibition called “Suspended Song”, which takes place in Co-Pilot, includes videos, paintings, sculptures, text and installation works of ten artists. The works of İz Öztat, Elmas Deniz, Merve Ertufan, Gökçe Süvari, İrem Tok, Fernando Sanchez Castillo, Bashir Borlakov, Ali Miharbi, Suat Öğüt and Fikret Atay carry traces of a fragile and lacunary world.
The first node of the exhibition is established between Merve Ertufan and Ali Miharbi. Two artists embark on a "civil" search and "look at the faces of other people". Miharbi visualizes the issues of democracy and representation by making us search our own faces among the faces in the parliament, while Ertufan delves into the politics of looking at another’s face. While Ertufan seeks out the “unknown other” among the faces she pans her camera over, Miharbi looks for a “familiar” face among representatives in the parliament. Both come up with an agglomeration of acquaintances comprising a large number of unknown others.
The concept of “being on the move” constitutes another node, the study of things that go and that don’t. İz Öztat’s work began with research on meanings of the word “strike”, which was first used to describe “stopping work” when sailors struck down the topgallant sails of merchant ships to prevent them from sailing. She matches the sail with the “hand fan”, a cliché symbolizing rest and pleasure. Depicting a hand striking a fan against the sail to fill it, Öztat produces a poetic image of a desperate effort, possibly a wild goose chase, but also a hope to achieve the impossible. The works of Bashir Borlakov and İrem Tok also share the same poetic visuality. Tok is an artist who believes in the soul of objects/things. She thinks that turning of scrapped ships into razorblades creates a deep feeling of sadness. With a small touch, she retransforms the razorblade-turned ship scraps into a likeness of their former selves. She produces a ship unable to move and sharpened/embittered due to what it has undergone, but still carrying traces of hope within. This sharpness, this state of being altered so much as to hurt when touched, forms the basis of the work of Elmas Deniz. Deniz portrays the normalized person, chipped of by work, school and family. “Writings” which play an important role in the works of Deniz, are encountered in the context of a different imagery this time. Her work evokes the power of a “writing” which can be read with one’s eyes closed, leaving a physical impression on those who touch it. Bashir Borlakov, who is well-recognized with his panoramic photograph series, produces a video project for the first time in many years. His work, depicting the artist himself -who is in constant motion between Russia and Turkey- walking towards the mountains with a suitcase in hand, can be read as an autobiographical work, as well as the portrait of a man/an artist in ineliminable solitude among crowds. While watching this video, it is important to remember Marquez's "Red Monday", the story of a murder which everyone knows will be committed and keep in mind the recent history of Turkey.
Spanish artist Fernando Sanchez Castillo fictionalizes a different relationship between two riot control vehicles, and in an unfamiliar way, stages a waltz dance between them. Suat Öğüt, pictures a bumpy road, and Gokce Süvari writes a semi-fictional story over the dog named Loukanikos, who appeared at the forefront of the protests in Greece.