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