Friday, September 08, 2006

Clean Hands - Temiz Eller @Apartman Projesi, Eylul 2006

Alti Aylik for the “all about lies” at Apartman Projesi, September 2006

Alti Aylik lost its physical gallery space a couple of months ago, so we are now trying to transform the project into a more flexible structure that uses any kind of space except a settled one.

For the exhibition “all about lies” at Apartman Projesi we are creating our own space that does not interfere with the actual gallery space and instead exists as a series of multiples that easily spread out into the public arena.

Inspired by the specific location of Apartman Projesi in one of the gastronomical centers of Istanbul we have chosen to work with the single packed refreshment towels as a medium to present Alti Aylik. These scented towels are very common in Turkey, often given out after meals to keep one’s hands fresh and clean. For “all about lies” the wrapping of these towels becomes the space for the artwork and in this way it communicates easily with everyone that uses them.

The first motif to be applied is the “clean hands/temiz eller” gesture, presented as a naive drawing of a hand with the fingers crossed behind the back, it is a sign used to indicate that the finger-crosser does not mean what he is saying, or is being compelled to act through coercion. (A typical childhood trick is to surreptitiously cross one's fingers behind one's back while making a promise, a token that supposedly shields the finger-crosser from the obligation of upholding the terms of his oath.) With this gesture the perpetrator is trying to keep his/her hands clean, albeit purposefully going along with a lie. And lying is a common thing: According to scientific research we all lie approximately 200-300 times a day.
The words “clean hands/temiz eller” also refers to the international operation against corruption that started in Italy in 1992 under the motto “mani pulite” and that was later initiated in Turkey as “temiz eller” to fight mafia structures in the system.

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