Chips in the Night, Exhibition Opening & Workshops
Important Project Dates:
Friday, June 13
6 to 9pm
Friday, June 20
Multi-media cooking event with Vera Palme and Natasja Loutchko, live from Germany via Skype
1 to 4pm
Open to the public; free
Saturday, June 21
Eating Our Shorts
A reading of Not Knowing on the Solstice: Barth, Barthes and Barthelme
with special guest Phoebe Friesen
6pm to sunset
Open to the public; free
Sunday, June 22
It’s Only Downhill From Here
St John’s Wort cycling tour and tincture workshop
Noon to 5pm
Email for pre-registration; free
Kahvehane Social Club/Gallery hours:
Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 7pm
Turkish coffee and tea served daily; free
Backgammon boards provided
Conceived of in a seaside town on the Aegean coast of Turkey and executed at Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto, Chips in the Night is a new collaborative project between Caitlin Gallupe and Elif Saydam.
The exhibition stems from a self-directed residency undertaken by the artists in an empty house outside of Izmir at the end of 2012. Spending time in ancient sites like Ephesus and ruins around Saydam’s home, the artists encountered a discursive vault of visual languages, vernaculars and storylines, all occurring in a single physical space. This meeting occurred without any real parameters or strategies, but manifested in a hand-painted film that would serve as a departure point for the next year and a half of collaboration.
The film, though traditional in form, acts as a catalyst for their experimentation and serves as a relic of the project’s conception. Slapstick gestures and interventions are documented throughout, including the dressing of 2000-year-old statues with customized togas and the baking of fish-shaped bread for local seagulls. Ancient graffiti – the outline of a man’s foot on the streets of Ephesus – makes a cameo on film, inviting the spirit of the joke to stroll through the entire exhibition.
Surrounded by aspects of Greco-Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, modern and contemporary culture, Chips in the Night became an exercise in locating the story and storytelling the location. Like a fishtail braid, a number of singular narratives cross over from the periphery to the center and back again in a constant loop. Conflicting tropes sandwich together and condense into a cacophony of trajectories, only to be unearthed with the ambiguity of an archeological dig. The artists visualize this cacophony using patterns and motifs selected strategically from decorative elements of disparate sources in the area around Izmir and beyond.
Part I of the exhibition (June 13 – 27) creates a Kahvehane-stylesocial club/coffee house space, which functions as a platform for various interdisciplinary events that all strive to compete for attention while displacing any tangible sense of emphasis. Custom built furnishings, floor drawings and ceramics all function as props within a comfortable living-room-like arrangement, and then slide into a droll backdrop for readings and workshops that seek to embrace not-knowing, and celebrate the impossibility of telling all stories and the impossibility of telling only one. The room is full of life; the room is full of lives.
For Part II (July 4 – 27), the gallery is transformed into a living sculpture in the form of an indoor peppermint garden. The garden will be tended to for the enjoyment of the public, then harvested and sent to the artists for a future performance (details TBA). The room was full of life; the room moves outside.
And so on and so forth.