Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Silsila Collective in Hurriyet Daily News

 Photo by Pelin Gure

"Initiated by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1... Flux is a site-specific group performance embodying a transformative cultural reflection about the future. Directed by Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins, this two-part performance is choreographed by Ernesto Pujol, known for his site-specific performances and social choreographies."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

FLUX Istanbul: at Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Photo by Özden Şahin

Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins and the Silsila Collective will present “Flux” on Sunday, August 4th at 5:00 PM. "Flux" is a site-specifıc group performance created for the Istanbul Modern Art Museum’s waterfront area. Consisting of 20 performers inhabiting the space outside the museum through silent stillness, repetitive walking, and the gestures of traditional daily life in Istanbul, “Flux” embodies a reflection about our collective future.

Photo by Zeynep Özel

The one-hour performance will integrate itself into the museum’s architectural kinetic installation on view, creating an ephemeral hybrid space, an architecture-within-the-architecture, part surreal garden and part secular cloister. Audiences may sit and experience a performative meditation that engages aspects of contemporary life in Istanbul, with its lingering past and its pending future. Baykal-Rollins is interested in artistic collaboration and has also invited artist Ernesto Pujol to assist him in choreographing the piece. Pujol is a New-York based performer, internationally known for his public durational performances. He works in the tradition of German choreographer Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater.
Flux is the third project of the new Silsila Collective’s contemporary programming. Baykal-Rollins founded the collective two years ago, to train and perform with art students, art professionals, and urban citizens of all ages drawn to this experimental new medium and its potential social agency through collective portraiture. Prior to this performance, part of the group performed in Venice on May 23, at the Piazza San Marco, responding to that spectacular site. Images are available through: http://silsilacollective.blogspot.com
Baykal-Rollins, who has been living and working in Istanbul for the past decade, engages in what is currently known "art as social practice,” combining performance with image-making, alternative education, institutional critique, and cultural studies in a reflection about contemporary existence. The artist hopes to continue working in partnership with local, regional and international institutions, growing his Collective as Istanbul becomes a stage for global art.
Silsila’s “Flux” performance will be held in conjunction with the exhibition “Sky Spotting Stop,” a project partnered with the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and MoMA PS1. "Sky Spotting Stop" is a temporary site-specific installation that shades the courtyard of Istanbul Modern while floating gently on the hidden waters of the Bosphorus, organically expanding its host space into the city (http://www.istanbulmodern.org/en/exhibitions/sky-spotting-stop_1114.html).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

FLUX VENICE: A New Performance by Silsila Collective

Photo by Zeynep Özel

FLUX is a two-part performance by Silsila Collective under the direction of Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins. Performed first at Venice’s Piazza San Marco in May, and then in June at Istanbul Modern Art Museum, FLUX celebrates the vibrant relationship between these two sister cities (past and present, from waters’ edge to waters’ edge). Choreographed by New York performance artist Ernesto Pujol in the tradition of tanztheater, Silsila’s twenty performers will move through the geometry of the Piazza’s massive tile patterns, which are based upon ancient Turkish carpet designs. Each performer will be wearing a garment covered in drawings and calligraphy comprised entirely of digital information from their collective stories and imagery. Essentially, Silsila will perform as “living books”, visible histories of their personal and cultural bodies, moving through the map of a carpet long-gone.

Photo by Zeynep Özel

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

FLUX: a new work by Silsila Collective

Silsila is pleased to announce our new work “Flux” will be showcased in Sky Spotting Stop, in a project partnered with MoMA and MoMA PS1 at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum in 2013.  Directed by Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins and choreographed by New York performance artist Ernesto Pujol, Flux is a two-part collaborative performance involving twenty performers, taking place at Venice’s Piazza San Marco on May 23rd, and at Istanbul Modern in June 22nd, and celebrating the vibrant relationship between these two sister cities (past and present, from water’s edge to water’s edge).

courtesy of MoMA

Friday, April 20, 2012

Transparanlık/Transparency: A Silsila Collective Project With SALT

Transparanlık/Transparency is a collective project that investigates the idea of transparency in relation to democracy by weaving together images from past and present media, creating an open archive that was transported through public space. This work of visual art and public performance is both a re-appropriation of and response to the current exhibition, ‘It Was a Time of Conversation’ at SALT Galata in Istanbul.

SALT’s ‘It Was a Time of Conversation’ examines three collaborative exhibitions in Turkey from the 1990s by providing access to the original documents from each of these exhibitions’ archives. With “Transparanlık/Transparency”, Silsila Collective under the direction of Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins, offers a collaborative student response to this exhibition by considering this “open archive” out in the open of public space.

Eighteen students from Robert College created a large transparent banner using imagery from the SALT exhibition, cross-woven with images and text from a wide-range of media coverage of current events. The banner the students constructed mirrors the “Gar Sergi” banner installed in SALT’s exhibition, and was completed at SALT Galata during the last of a series of workshop sessions. Students then carried the banner in silence, from the space of the exhibition back into the public domain.

‘It Was a Time of Conversation’ highlights the emerging role of curatorship these three exhibitions pioneered in the 1990s (‘Memory/Recollection’ was the first curated exhibition ever in Turkey), so too “Transparanlık/Transparency”, draws from a curatorial framework designed here by a student, Leyla Levi, co-curator of this project with Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins.

photos by Özden Şahin

Monday, November 14, 2011

Silsila Navigates Istanbul

photograph by Sina Baykal-Rollins

The following are excerpts from an interview with Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins and article in 2010LAB by Anne Weshinskey titled "Continuing Education: Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins Navigates Istanbul", November 2011 (www.2010lab.tv/en/blog/continuing-education)

"Places like Robert College, teachers like Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins, and collectives like Silsila are what will sustain and shape the direction of performance art in Istanbul - not Biennials and cultural organizations which downplay the role of education." 
-Anne Weshinskey

"I have wanted to collaborate with people that believe in the power of poetic beauty as much as I do, to create ephemeral gestures with a lasting impact. The idea of forming a collective came from Ernesto Pujol, a New York-based performance artist who is curating a project I am doing with students in Venice next Spring. Ernesto encouraged me to form my own structure, an intermedia platform for launching projects that function as social interventions, whether they be site-specific installations or performance art works, with students or professionals. Certainly Joseph Beuys’ idea of Social Sculpture remains a huge inspiration here, especially as the potential of an individual to transform society becomes multiplied when working as a group. I chose the Ottoman/Arabic term “Silsila” for our name because it means “chain” or “lineage”, and seemed to serve as a perfect metaphor for the potential of creative collaboration, and also a reminder of my/our place in the larger history of social transformation."
 -Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Propeller People

Silsila joined Propeller People, for a public space performance on Istanbul's Istiklal Street. Directed by Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Propeller People formed a human revolving door, rotating around a fixed point in the middle of the crowded pedestrian street.