Invited by the SAHA Studio Selection Committee, Murat Alat is the resident writer and programmer of SAHA Studio throughout the year 2021.
The article series "Living Matter" focuses on the artworks, that investigate the potentials of the matter and go into its different states, among the projects supported by SAHA in the previous ten years. Concerning themselves with nonhuman perpetrators, these works render perceivable the movement and vibration inside the material structures of things rather than representing them. Such an effort, which can be realized sometimes with sound, sometimes with image and sometimes with the help of imagination, has aesthetical as well as ethical and political results. "Living Matter" is an exercise that endeavours to understand the structures of and reflects upon the possibilities of the policies created by the artworks developing different tactics with the aim of returning to things the place they deserve in the political field.
#02 remember, remember, remember the water
"A dry, idle cistern. After all, houses that are in need of the water held by the cistern have been long since meeting their needs by means of the extremely complicated waterworks offered by the state. This building is now only a historical artifact, a museum. It incompletely tells to its visitors about what has happened to it. But how much can a waterless cistern tell about itself? All along the passages of the cistern, there is a long, blue net installed on wooden scaffolds at a height surpassing human body height. This net reminds us the water that was once there, was nourished by rains and used by the people in the neighbourhood. Now a dynamic mass that has remained in memories. When we enter the cistern, it feels as if we are under the water. When we lift our heads, we see the blue net substituting the water that was once there. Instead of the stars that we would look at in order to determine the direction to where we go and to be informed about our future, there is a blue net and floor tiles caught in the net. The past comes over us; we remember."
#01 “I Want To Believe”
"Banu Cennetoğlu and Yasemin Özcan have produced two works in 2010 and 2013 as a result of a collaboration with the Body Energy and Balance Consultant Zeynep Sevil Güven. The first work entitled Dumping into Cosmic Trash was produced for the Second Exhibition at Arter, which focused on institutional criticism, while the second work entitled What is it that you are worried about?, which can be considered as the rehandling of the same work in a different context, was produced for the Project Biennial D-0 ARK Underground held in a bunker in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This article will focus on the latter of these two works, which have similar basic structures, and discuss the strategies applied by the artists."
Murat Alat (1983, İstanbul) graduated from İstanbul Bilgi University Cultural Studies MA program. From 2007 to 2015 he worked as project coordinator and exhibition manager in İKSV, Arter and Salt. Since 2015 he has been writing texts on contemporary art and organising workshops, seminars and education programs. He is still writing for Art Unlimited on a regular basis and working as a consultant for Visual Art Projects of the Municipality of Nilüfer, Bursa. He is also programming “Açık Seminer” which is a research and public education programme being held under the roof of Saint-Joseph High School in collaboration with the art initiative Poşe. He studies philosophy and psychoanalysis and thinks on the conjunction of politics, ethics and aesthetics.