In Support: Support Structures

In Support: Support Structures

As support, the structure is separated from desire.
— Roland Barthes, “Dark Glasses” in A Lovers Discourse: Fragments

Of course there is not a happiness of structure; but every structure is habitable, indeed it may be its best definition.
— Roland Barthes, “Dark Glasses” in A Lovers Discourse: Fragments

On one occasion Foucault gives it its most precise name: it is a “diagram”… It is a machine that is almost blind and mute, even though it makes others see and speak.
— Gilles Deleuze, Foucault

The third and the final strand of In Support is titled “Support Structures”. The vitrine installations and other works in this section take further distance from the personal. They lean toward technically conceived works that connect back to the notion of support not just as form but more importantly as gesture. “Support Structures” is partly conceived as a contradiction of the first two installments – “Support as Intimacy and Proximity” and “Violence of Support” – and draws inspiration from the contradictions in Brecht’s work between the theoretical and the formal.

Doubleness as a concept is central to “Support Structures”. The works, as well as self-standing, independent forms, entail gestures that are perhaps easily recognizable to the audience but invisible to passersby.

Accompanying the visual works is a sound piece transmitted via vibration speakers. The piece comprises a lecture in Turkish from Süreyya Karacabey, who was a professor in the Theater Department of Ankara University until her expulsion by the government under new laws targeting secular academics. These laws, which have seen nearly 5000 academics lose their jobs, are a product of the “state of emergency” in Turkey that has now been renewed for a third time. Karacabey is a well-respected academic and the author of several books on Heiner Müller and Bertolt Brecht. She is currently teaching in a number of initiatives formed outside of academia as a reaction to recent political events in Turkey. These initiatives involve holding lectures on the street, accessible to all. The lecture presented during “In Support” was first delivered in the context of one such initiative, “Sokak Akademisi (Street Academy)”, in Ankara last winter. The idea of inviting Karacabey as a contributor stemmed both from the relevance of her academic interests and, perhaps more importantly, from the structural resemblances between this exhibition and her street lectures. The lecture presented for Support Structures focuses on Brecht’s notion of epic theatre. His insistence that an audience should remain sober and critically engaged with a work instead of being carried away by fictional realities and illusory empathy resonates with our current political climate. Further, by contradicting the previous two performances presented in the exhibition – both of which took the form of storytelling and demanded a degree of empathic engagement from the audience – Karacabey’s lecture highlights the intricate, often paradoxical and fragile nature of support. This also resonates with how Brecht frequently justified his art by contradicting his own theories.

The sound piece is accompanied by a printed text: “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote” by Jorge Luis Borges. “Pierre Menard” is a short story in the form of a review or literary criticism. Borges’ “review” describes Menard’s efforts to go beyond a mere “translation” of Don Quixote by immersing himself so thoroughly in the work as to be able to actually “recreate” it, word for word, in the original 17th-century Spanish. Interestingly, Borges’ review argues that the translation is more successful than the original even though the two are identical. The printed text in English proposes an allegorical double for the audience who doesn’t know Turkish and therefore has no access to Karacabey’s lecture.

“In Support”
June 10 – September 2, 2017
De Kijkdoos
Weesperstraat 51, Amsterdam
Open 24/7

3. In Support:
Support Structures
August 12 – September 2
Opening 12 August 18.00-20.00
Durational work: Epic Intervention by Süreyya Katacabey August 12, Ongoing

Curation and theoretical framework:
Baha Görkem Yalım

Nicola Arthen
Olga Micińska
Ivo Rick
Dan Walwin
Baha Görkem Yalım

Süreyya Katacabey

Céline Condorelli, Support Structures
Roland Barthes, A Lovers Discourse: Fragments
Gilles Deleuze, Foucault
André Lepecki, Choreopolice and Choreopolitics

Graphic / web design:
Bram van den Berg

Phil Baber

“In Support” is realized with the support of Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst / AFK