2003 My Place, Antalya, Turkey

My Place
19 October – 22 November 2003
Kaleiçi, Antalya, Turkey
Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Art

An international exhibition Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Art was held in the historical district of Kaleici in Antalya, Turkey between 19th October and 22nd November 2003. In January 2002, about one and a half years prior to the opening, the organiser asked me to participate in the exhibition and this became my first stay and presentation of work in Turkey. The exhibition aimed to a) explore the relationships between historical places and architecture from a contemporary perspective; and b) re-investigate conventional oppositions such as private/public, inside/outside, and past/present from the personal perspectives of the artists. My interest in this area did not directly lie in its historical heritage. Rather, I was interested in the way its people live their lives, including what they think about the meaning of living in Kaleici, inscribed as it is with the vestiges of various eras. I saw my task as being to deepen my understanding of them and see what kind of information I could draw from them. I had previously conducted projects that connected people with their region; I thought that kind of project was the most appropriate for this region, and felt that doing advance in-depth research at the site would be a very important step for this project.
To be in time for the opening of the exhibition in October, I planned to conduct the research in July, come back to Japan to produce work in August, and go back to Kaleici
to install the work in September. Referring to the exhibition proposal by the executive committee and other materials, I decided on the basic direction of my project before the research trip. It was to interview the local people about their memories of the area and memorable incidents that had happened in their lives, and then to produce plaques based on these interviews to be installed at the sites associated with each incident. I had already realised some projects similar to this in various places in and outside Japan. Prior to my trip, I told the executive committee in Antalya that I would interview people who currently live in or have some connections with Kaleici, and produce work from the interviews.
16th July - 30th July: Interviews
I arrived in Antalya on 16th July, and began to prepare for the interviews. Tu¨lay, one of the executive committee members, had already made appointments with some interviewees. Timurta Onan, a local photographer who has been taking photos in the region for about 10 years, introduced me to some other people who were willing to give interviews. I took a walk around town with him, asking people to take part in the interviews. In the end I obtained a total of 14 interviewees.
Three days after my arrival, Miyuki Aoki Girardelli arrived in Antalya and we talked about the procedure and schedule for the project. She lives in Istanbul and helped me by interpreting and translating between Turkish and Japanese throughout the project. The interviews began right on the day after her arrival, with a person Tu¨lay
had arranged for me to see at an elderly people’s home in a suburb of Antalya. After that I visited two or three people each day to conduct the interviews. The daytime temperature in Kaleici went up over 40 degrees, and it was dizzyingly hot even for the locals. In the afternoons I simply could not work in such temperatures, so I did my interviews in the mornings and evenings when it was relatively cool. I spent the afternoons in the cool hotel lobby, taking naps or watching the videotapes of the interviews while translating and proof-reading the transcriptions. When I went for walks in town, I several times bumped into people I had already interviewed. They called out ‘Hi, won’t you come to my house for some chai?’ When I went and drank chai with them, we got to talking about the topics in the interviews again and repeated the good time we had had just a few days before.
1st August - 31st August: Production of Work
I came back to Japan with the videotapes and notes on the interviews. From the translations made by Miyuki I produced plaques bearing the stories in Turkish, together with bilingual captions in Japanese and English to accompany the plaques. In producing these works, I took account of the characteristics of the townscape, and selected materials that would be able to withstand outdoor conditions for the duration of the exhibition (a little over one month). I finished making the plaques and captions in about two weeks.
11th September - 24th September: Installation of Work
I visited Antalya again in September to install my work. It was somewhat cooler then compared to July. The plaques were to be installed in the middle of Kaleici’s busy
quarter. I went around asking the people in the houses and shops near the places where the stories in the interviews happened to set up the plaques. The area is a
historical district and strictly regulated, so it was hard to find sites for installation.
However Zafer, an art student at Akdeniz University in Antalya whom I met in July and was interested in my work, helped me in all aspects including the negotiations for each installation site as well as the actual installation work. Various other people in Kaleici also cooperated actively in the project by offering sites for installation. The installation work proceeded smoothly thanks to the help offered by the people in the streets. During this period I also gave a lecture on my project at the Antalya Photographers’ Association,
introduced by Yalcin Yal?nl?, one of the interviewees.
I believe that this project has served to revivify the people’s lives and memories in the town’s streets. I also think that the project as a whole has posed some questions about the relationship between the region and its people to those people and to those visiting the region. Although the project has already ended, I hope that the installed work and the people’s memories will continue to serve as links connecting the people with their region.



アフメット・サユン(黄色いおじさん) アリ・アチャール ジェマル・イェシルタシュ メフメット・ギョズブユック イェクタ・サラチオウル タールク・アクルトプ ヒュセイン・チンリム ムスタファ・アウルナスル ヤルチュン・ヤルンル メスーデ・オルム サーフィット・ウイサル アフメット・トゥラン・クル アフメット・カヤ ギライ・エルジェンク




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