Saturday, March 15, 2014

film still from Luis Bunuel's 1965 film Simon of the Desert

This is our press release for End Pit at Depo Istanbul written before the events took over in late May 2013. We don't know if and how it makes sense to do what we wanted to do after these charged chemical days but we can find out about that together.

End Pit

“I don't approve of vertical structures; I rather favor horizontal ones. Four stories should be above the ground, while the other four should be built underground” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

If gold is the material associated with the sun, brightness, stability, enlightenment, highest value, peak of visibility and light of knowledge, what could be the anti-gold, the ungold of darkness, unknowing, holes, unvisual? What is the relation between abysmal pits and soaring pillars, between forms of life of the heights and forms of life of the depths? When you turn the ceiling into a pit and the pit into a ceiling verticality and horizontality lose their meaning, confusion occurs, you lose the ground of the known while the pits of unknowing are opening "under" you.

The ethical distribution of verticality and horizontality is a strict anthropocentric process - what happens if we de-link hierarchy from altitude and de-humanize verticality? In a time of flat ontologies and smooth planes of emergence, the prominences and high-deep striations hold something oddly radical. Today's imperative of horizontality is shared by the occupy movements, with their resistance rhetoric, as well as the neo-liberal think-tanks, caught in the neural drive of focus groups and brainstorming sessions. Horizontalism at this stage shows already signs of conformity setting in motion all too familiar normative dynamics. Mining proliferates in these well-meaning horizontalities as verticality has disguised itself in a plane. Affective mining and toxic digging employ the same procedures of the extractive economy.

The end pit is conceived as the terminus point of all leaks, the final lake of leaks, impermeable basins that supposedly wipe out the memory of extracted gold. But in the vicinity of waste pounds - apart from inevitable soil contaminations - nether spheres emerge that enforce new spaces of unpredictability. From there no certainty whatsoever can direct the sense and composition of further deposits.

Dark markets, grey border areas, pressure zones, insufficient light exposure and the consequent deformities are generating uncharted fields of destruction and potentiality. The end pit is a point from where the free fall becomes impossible, it is the start of a convoluted, tortuous movement of live and poisoning sediments through the veins of the earth. End Pit is not an end in itself but a sprawling regression, a contagious closure of voids.

Alina Popa, Irina Gheorghe, Ștefan Tiron, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Florin Flueraș, Ion Dumitrescu (The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, ParadisGaraj, Postspectacle)

End Pit is a performance and a book produced with the support of the Fostering Artistic Practices program of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Istanbul and DEPO Istanbul. Many thanks to Asena Günal and Alexandru Bălășescu.

Download the End Pit Book here

The performance took place on the 6th of June at 19:30 in DEPO Istanbul.

Later in June 2013, during the anti-government and anti-capitalist protests in Istanbul a forum was held in the exhibition space to discuss the recent events and ways of social action. Thanks Ali Taptik for sending us the photo.

Photo: Ali Taptik