Tuesday, May 29, 2007

da zi bao by group material

One of the first projects that we did in a public space or outdoor space was called Da zi baos, or The Democracy Wall. "Dazi bao" is Chinese for "large-scale character posters". Our cursory understanding of the democracy wall movement in China is that it is a traditional form of social written dialogue occurring in public squares. The chain of events is that someone or some group would mount a commentary poster about public policy or a certain issue on an outdoor wall. And then another person would come and put another poster next to that and so on and so on. What ensued was a kind of opinion landscape, which in fact sometimes influenced public policy. In 1976 after Mao's death, Deng was reinstated in the party and by 1980 he consolidated his power and deleted four freedoms from the 1978 Constitution; speaking out freely; airing views fully; holding debates; and writing big character posters_the traditional form of political protest. We tailored the concept and form of Da Zi Baos and made a kind of constructed version.

We were thinking at that time, in 1982, about ways in which public opinion is instrumentalized and wielded by the media in the United States and how opinions and views are reduced to a yes or no, with no complexity or gray area in between, replicating cycles of reductive thinking. The process of gathering the statements that you see on the wall involved interviewing people on the street at the actual Union Square location where the posters were later installed about a number of social issues that were relevant to the site of Union Square and current events. We juxtaposed those statement from individuals (black on yellow) with organizational statements from various groups (black on red ) who were working with the same issues. So in a sense the democracy wall is not so dissimilar from some of our interior shows in terms of the overall framework being a forum or a model of a democratic form. The first statement in the wall was from Group Material:
"Even though it's easy and fun, we're sick of being the audience. We want to do something, we want to create our culture instead of just buying it."
Juxtaposed with that was a statement by a housewife: "Government funding of the arts should depend on the actual purpose, what they are giving it for. If it was being based on as far as to help other people or something like that I could see it."
Two other statements were about unions. An office worker said:
"Unions benefit society, but not in my office."
And the Home Health Care Workers Union wrote:
"These are rough times to stand alone. Even though people are now paid for working, the attitude of masters towards servants remains the same." I want to point our that this was a very inexpensive project to do ($200) as we did them by hand. We put the posters up illegally at night, and they stayed up for approximately five weeks before they were covered up and/or dilapidated. Up until then Group Material had been self-generating financially, meaning the members of the group pooled our moneys to make events and pay for projects. Around this time we began to get National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) support.


Friday, May 25, 2007




29 MAY 2007, 19:00-21:00 h

Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Clubraum, 3rd floor

(Talk and discussion will be held in ENGLISH, admission is free)

Künstlerhaus Bethanien will host a talk by Adnan Yildiz to update
Berlin audiences about the next Istanbul Biennial.

Istanbul/Stockholm based curator Adnan Yildiz will give a talk about
the coming projects, "nightcomers" and "BFB" in which he is involved
as a co-curator. Both projects will take place during the forthcoming
Istanbul Biennial (September, 2007).

"nightcomers" is one of the night programme projects of the 10th
International Istanbul Biennial, perhaps the most somnambulist. The
conceptual structure of the project was based on the concept of
"dazibao" used by Hou Hanru in reference to wall-mounted posters
produced by the public during the Chinese Revolution. Video screenings
selected by a young curatorial team (Pelin Uran, Ovul Durmusoglu,
Borga Kanturk, Marcus Graf, Adnan Yildiz), will be shown throughout
the night in the streets, with the aim to reach a bigger audience than
the Istanbul Biennial does in the daytime.

Adnan Yildiz will also speak about an independent project that will
also take place in September 2007 and will be realized in
collaboration with Esther Lu: "BFB/ Big Family Business", can be
defined as "an open office for everybody". BFB is designed as an open
structure for everybody to be engaged into the discussions and events.

Yildiz invites the audience to an intensive discussion about the
cultural bridges between the two brother/sister cities, Berlin and

Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH
Mariannenplatz 2
D-10997 Berlin
Tel. +30-616 90 315
Fax +30-616 90 330

Sunday, May 20, 2007

introduction to nightcomers 101


nightcomers, is one of the night programme projects of the 10th International Istanbul Biennial, perhaps the most somnambulist. The conceptual structure of the project was based on the concept of "dazibao" used by Hou Hanru in reference to wall-mounted posters produced by the public during the Chinese Revolution.

The team of young curators invited by Hou Hanru defines "nightcomers" as follows:

"The project targets a wide profile in terms of viewer and participant and derives its power from individual sentences that are becoming increasingly anonymous, and as they become anonymous, become public and ascend within the public sphere. In other words, social and political content suitable for a wall-mounted newspaper is the defining aspect of the project. The source of the variety sought in the videos is our belief that the way to understand the impulsive force in the production of visual material is observing other fields."

Videos will be shown throughout the night in the streets, and the target is to reach a bigger audience than the Istanbul Biennial does in the daytime.

The young curators have defined the maximum 5 minute video production as the format, and invite everyone "who has something to say" to produce. The video programs will be selected from the pool of videos formed from all videos sent to the Biennial and will be exhibited in different parts of the city on certain days of the week. The "nightcomers" project aims to build a strong communication and relationship with its viewer and invites everyone taking part in the project as producer-viewer to share its name. To go out at night, to share the street and to hear one's own voice en masse... Therefore it defines itself as follows:

"Nightcomers hang out on street corners. They seek their own justice. You feel their breath on your neck. Sleepless - a gang of ghosts."

What is "Electronic Image Dazibao"?

To engage the Biennial programmes more profoundly and intimately with the real urban life of İstanbul, it's absolutely important to surpass the conventional temporal and spatial framework of an art event. Therefore, the Biennial is conceived not only as an exhibition but also as a process and site of cultural production that goes beyond office hours. Night programs have been designed to integrate the public directly with the Biennial project and to create a platform of democratic participation.

"Electronic Image Dazibao", is referring to "Dazibao", a form of radically democratic street postings of public opinions during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The impact of these wall-mounted posters in protest, propaganda and popular communication was strengthened by getting in circulation with some local newspapers from time to time. Today, electronic image and video is a basic mean of communication and expression especially among the young people. Thereof, "nightcomers" project aims to have the video works of everyone who wants to tell his ideas and express himself to be sent to Istanbul Biennial.

Deadline for submissions: 15th June 2007



gecegezenler, 10. Uluslararası İstanbul Bienali'nin gece programında yer alan projelerden biri, belki de en uyurgezer olanı. Projenin kavramsal kurgusu, Hou Hanru'nun Çin Devrimi sırasında halkın ürettiği sokak afişlerine referans vererek kullandığı "dazibao" kavramından hareketle oluşturuldu.

Hou Hanru'nun davet ettiği genç küratörlerden oluşan ekip, "gecegezenler"i şöyle tanımlıyor:

"İzleyici ve katılımcı olarak geniş bir profil hedefleyen proje, gücünü giderek anonimleşen, anonimleştikçe kamusallaşan ve bu kamusal alanda yükselen bireysel cümlelerden alıyor. Farklı bir anlatımla, duvar gazetesi niteliği taşıyan sosyal ve politik içerik, programın belirleyici özelliğini oluşturuyor. Videolarda aranan çeşitlilik, görsel malzeme üretimindeki itici gücü anlamanın yolunun başka alanları gözlemlemek olduğuna dair inancımızdan kaynaklanıyor".

Videolar gece boyunca sokakta gösterilerek, İstanbul Bienali'nin gün boyu ulaştığı izleyiciden daha geniş bir kitleye ulaşılması hedefleniyor.

Genç küratörler, yaklaşık 5 dakikayla sınırlı video üretimini format olarak tanımlayarak, "söyleyecek sözü olan" herkesi üretime çağırıyor. Bienale gönderilen bütün videoların oluşturduğu havuzdan seçilecek video programları ise, haftanın belli günleri şehrin farklı köşelerinde sergilenecek. Hem üretimi hem de sunumu sürecinde izleyicisiyle güçlü bir iletişim ve ilişki kurmayı amaçlayan "gecegezenler" projesi, programa üretici-izleyici olarak katılan herkesi adını paylaşmaya çağırıyor. Gece sokağa çıkmaya, sokağı paylaşmaya ve kendi sesini hep birlikte duymaya... Bu nedenle kendini şöyle tanımlıyor:

"Gecegezenler, köşe başlarını mesken tutar. Onlar, kendi adaletlerini arar. Nefeslerini ensende hissedersin. Yani uykusuz, hayalet çetesi."

"Elektronik İmge Dazibao" nedir?

İstanbul Bienali programlarını İstanbul'un gerçek kent hayatıyla daha derinden ve yakından ilişkilendirmek için geleneksel zamansal ve mekânsal çerçevenin ötesine geçebilmek çok önemli. Bu nedenle, İstanbul Bienali'nin sadece bir sergi olarak değil, aynı zamanda mesai saatlerinin dışına taşan bir süreç, kültürel üretim ve paylaşım alanı olarak planlanması hedefleniyor. Halkı, özellikle gençleri, Bienal projesiyle doğrudan bir araya getirmek ve demokratik bir katılım platformu yaratmak için İstanbul Bienali kapsamında ana sergilerin yanı sıra bir dizi gece programı hazırlanıyor.

"Elektronik İmge Dazibao", Çin'deki Kültür Devrimi sırasında halkın fikirlerini yansıtan radikal demokratik sokak afişleri "Dazibao"dan esinleniyor. Kimi zaman gazetelerle dağıtıma da giren büyük karakterlerde yazılardan oluşan bu afişlerin protesto, propaganda veya kitlesel iletişimdeki etkileri böylelikle perçinlenmiştir. Günümüzde ise elektronik imge ve video özellikle gençler tarafından temel iletişim ve anlatım aracı olarak kullanılıyor. Bu nedenle, fikrini söylemek ve kendini ifade etmek isteyen herkesin video işlerini İstanbul Bienali'ne ulaştırmalarını sağlayacak "gecegezenler" projesi üzerinde çalışılıyor.

Son katılım tarihi: 15 Haziran 2007