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 (

"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.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Silsila Joins Remote Citizen

Members of Silsila joined Remote Citizen on Saturday October 15, 2011 for a public performance in Istanbul. Under the direction of Christian Kuntner and Astride Schlaefli, Remote Citizen telecommanded actors via wireless intercom (remote directing). The goal was to perceive the motion flow in public spaces, directly analyze it and us it in its spontaneous evaluation via performative elements. Through direct control of the actions, the performance influenced the flow of normality, deflected it, bringing it to a standstill, or speeding it up. Remote Citizen uses controlled intervention in crowded places to intensify, break, or reduce to absurdity any predominant dynamics. In this way, reality and staging seamlessly blend into each other. (