The Apparatus

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights! A phenomena… Article 13 of this Declaration that the European Union has also signed proclaims:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.”

Well, we all know that works in the world of Alice, not ours. The burden of refugees, immigrants; people dying while trying to pass the so called: ‘borders’… Who decides who would pass? Who is the one to choose? What is the hidden discourse? How the bodies are controlled? How do they behave to the other?

Berliner Herbstsalon, the temporary exhibition parcour of Maxim Gorki Theater, organized by Shermin Langhoff, Çağla İlk, Erden Kosova and Antje Weitzel, chooses to start the new season by questioning the power, say, the Western civilization. 30 artists have been interrogating the notions such as construction of a nation, an identity; colonisation, borders and immigration problems. Installations, videos and performances take their places in the spaces of Maxim Gorki as well as Palais am Festungsgraben and Neue Wache. The imitations of Greek colons, temple like plans; symmetry and glory!…

Vigorous performances were another significant part of the exhibition. Dramaturg Laila Solimon’s piece Here, There & Everywhere (2013) got my attention because of its similarities with the famous Ausleanderbehörde, say, spaces of governments – Kafkaesk.

Solimon deals with the attitude of bureaucracy in a humourous way. Reminiscent of performative speech act theory, one faces with the weird actions of the ‘guard’ at the door, the extremely polite but nervous women in the spaces of Solimon. After getting through the door one should wait in the small space with the dimensions of 1*1 m. Hearing the sound of the old typewriter makes one wonder; the moment of seeing the edgy person looking directly, mentioning that the other paper should be signed in order to go inside and see the archive… I signed immediately, without knowing what kind of an archive it is, because of being forced with this specific attitude. The claustrophobic space makes it hard to watch the videos related with the opinions of several people from different countries about, so called, state security apparatuses.

Even though I knew it is just a joke, it was almost impossible to feel weird, the other. I felt oppressed by some kind of a power floating in the air…

*The photo: No Time for Art by Laila Soliman about the protests in Egypt.

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