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geheimklub // smash categories – enjoy diversity
2/5BZ aka Berbat Zoksal – live audio/video performance
Desmond Denker, Sensing Collapse, Junktion – DJs
2/5 BZ aka Serhat Köksal from Istanbul (Turkey) works as a multimedia project with various releases in video, music and literary formats. Characteristic for the work and output of 2/5 BZ is the often humorous balancing on the verge of trash and the continuous work with cut-up and collages of music, cinema, speech and field recordings. So far, 2/5 BZ has performed live audiovisual performances in 19 countries / 91 cities, in Clubs, Festivals, Squats, Exhibitions, Performances..
This is his ISTANBUL COURTHOUSTEP TOUR – about the world’s largest palace of justice, currently under construction in Kartal, İstanbul:
THE WORLD’S BIGGEST JUSTICE PALACE
With the support from the Europe’s and the World’s biggest palaces of justice, solving the problems of unemployment and envisioning to use the F and T Type prisons as for-profit companies with cheap labor, “the Advanced Justice” are gushing towards to become a global brand: World’s largest palace of justice (courthouse) is under construction in Kartal, Istanbul
excerpts from interview with Matthew Collin (The Wire), 2012/04:
Please explain your slogan ‘No Touristik No Exotik’. Is this specifically about Turkey and the Western view of Istanbul as an exotic consumer product, or West-East relations in general?
S. K. - I understand it as a part of a wide history of geographic explorations, and hence as a part of an ongoing dynamic, rather than an issue peculiar to Turkey, the Western view of Istanbul as an exotic consumer product, or West-East relations in general. Beirut can be the new Istanbul, or Masdar can be the new Beirut, but the logic stays the same.
“NO Touristik NO Egzotik” became one of my concepts in 2000. I wanted to criticize people who evaluate you not according to the quality of your work but as an exotic object that comes from Istanbul or any other similar place. In the visual / audio performances, I aimed to break, demolish these exotic images and discourses in a sarcastic way. I performed them during 2/5BZ’s first European tour in 2001, which included 6 countries and 19 cities. Later, I based my work on the relations between this exoticism issue and global economy.
As I see it, this relationship, by and large, empties the content/context of the artists’ work, and makes it as a part of marketing to the end of rendering new markets legible/intelligible, and hence adaptable. One can follow it through the similarity of language of ministries of economic affairs, global companies, big cultural events. All of them are using standard artificial phrases in their publication, web sites, interviews etc. such as “dialogue”, “bridge”. These standard expressions are supposed to be used from branding any city or product, to help promote them, and also integrate them to the global economic systems. Nowadays these phrases are commonly used also in cultural environments, almost as a cliché.
In the 2000s, I also used slogans such like “Gegen die Bridge”, “NO Cultural Pipeline (NO Energy) Dialogue”, “NOptimism”, “(Let Us Not Be Fooled by) Destiny in a Palaverel Universe”, “Kill Freedomsday before It Kils You”, and lately, “NOttoman” -in response to the dreamperialistic Neo-Ottoman project of Turkey.
What is your opinion of the alternative/underground music scene in Turkey now?
S. K. - There is a marketable alternative/underground music scene. In a way, the increasingly fake or adaptable alternatives are also produced and marketed for this scene. It is pretty much the same in the political realm as well. The new generation (or the foreigners that come to Turkey) often take these fake or adaptable alternatives as given, or do not bother to take a critical stance. Yet, in the climate which is getting more oppressive in the last years, the sincerely critical and alternative organizations, journalists, places, artists, formations are under enormous pressure. It is funny that, as Istanbul gets trendier, the coverage of this pressure expands.
Both my recent music (in progress) and my recent written/art work is in criticism of this oppression, as well as its fake alternatives. For example, in our recent project, “Kozmic Opua” organization is resisting against this system, getting a foothold in the Narduk NOttoman countryside. It messes with measures of securitization, electronic surveillance, as well as the fake opposition.
What was the situation in society at that time, in the years after the 1980 coup, and how did it influence your work?
S. K. - In the early 1980s, not only in Turkey, but elsewhere in the world, neoliberal transformation was coupled with oppressive regimes, in an attempt to eradicate organized opposition against so-called market reforms. This oppressive turn, parallel to the neoliberal one, happened everywhere, taking different tones with respect to the socio-political, socio-economic dynamics of the countries. Also, in Turkey, post-1980s coup was not the only oppressive period. One can observe similar ones in the late 1940s, late 1950s, throughout the 1970s; and after the 1981 coup, another significant turn is the late 2000s. Although one may think that today’s economic climate, bringing the coup generals into court does add up to a less oppressive regime. I believe, the oppressive character of the regime is more subtle, yet stronger nowadays.
As for the immediate aftermath of the coup, it was a period of desertification on many levels, especially with respect to organized opposition, critical thinking, artistic production.It was the late 1980s and in the early 1990s that I happened to collect material I have seen and listened to in my childhood, and re-used them in a puking effect, mixing it with television news and speeches, along with other material, in response to the circumstances of the day. The tone of this puking effect is mostly affected by the tradition of humour I have mentioned above.