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Feature: Live performance in Istanbul draws lively interactions with viewers
Last Updated: 2018-03-12 07:30 | Xinhua
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Ata Dogruel will be staying on the attic of a building in Istanbul for 28 days without interruption, and he relies on others to provide food and feed him.

Dogruel, a young artist, proclaimed before starting his show that he is inquiring into the relationship between people and society, and between social dynamics and the limits of being an individual.

For his performance, Dogruel divided the attic into two parts, with one part painted in black and the other in white, and a table and two chairs standing in the middle.

When he feels hungry, he spends time inside the black quarter. After he is full, he goes inside the white part. He refrains from talking throughout his performance.

The first of its kind in Istanbul and Turkey, this long-haul live performance made its debut in the metropolis on Feb. 16 under the title of "Needed: You" spanning over 672 hours, or 28 days, with no intervals, featuring art performances by ten Turkish artists.

The live show, which includes nine performances in total, is being performed on all the six floors of the building of Performistanbul, a dedicated space for performance art in Istanbul's iconic Galata neighborhood.

"The event welcomes the audience to actively participate in the whole process," Simge Burhanoglu, the curator of the show, told Xinhua.

"Their interactive collaboration with the artists is the prerequisite for the entire process," she said.

For Burhanoglu, it is an existential invitation aiming to encourage visitors to realize their strength and key roles they can play in the lives of others.

"The audience is expected to enter the door unbiased, then they find a suitable spot for themselves and feel valuable," she explained.

With her performance titled "What do you want," artist Ekin Bernay was taking her viewers on a healing journey by helping them discover what they want from life.

"I am this room. I am here to listen and I am here to hold you tight," Bernay wrote on a sheet of paper hanging on the wall of her show room.

"On these walls, you can find yourself and you can leave a part of you with me," reads another sheet, which encourages the spectators to write down their stories on it.

With "Dance Party For One" by Selin Kocagoncu, visitors can dance freely to the music in the dark, while with "In Project: PC," viewers can leave voice messages to another artist Batu Bozoglu, who carries a speaker all the time repeating the messages which are read out through a computer-synthesized voice.

Artist Ozlem Unlu was spending her time inside of a mummy on a throne, both made of plaster, trying to draw attention to power and the limitation to freedom.

In Burhanoglu's view, performance art in Turkey has not found its deserved place.

"It is very different from a paint exhibition and it doesn't display something tangible," she said.

She thinks, however, that Turks are ready to experience something new in the art scene and the interaction with artists is appealing to them more than ever.

So far more than 2,000 visitors have come for the live show, the curator said. She is expecting another 2,000 before the performance ends on March 16.

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