A SEARCH THE Bu­reau of Un­spec­i­fied Ser­vices (B.U.S.) at SALT Galata delves into the jour­ney be­tween dis­ci­plines as an aes­thetic in­quiry to bring to­gether pieces that would nor­mally re­main un­con­nected

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

THE BU­REAU of Un­spec­i­fied Ser­vices (B.U.S.) ex­hi­bi­tion which looks at in­stances of works that come out of a cer­tain set of re­la­tions and func­tion within it was opened at SALT Galata. While these ex­am­ples orig­i­nate from a form of in­te­rior or do­mes­tic­ity in one area, they fur­ther op­er­ate in the field of art as ei­ther an ex­ter­nal­iza­tion or a trans­la­tion, sug­gest­ing an in­evitable poros­ity be­tween fields. The ex­hi­bi­tion con­sid­ers how works of art per­form in di­verse spheres and as­sume var­i­ous roles and at­tri­bu­tions when trav­el­ing across dis­ci­plines. What brings the pieces to­gether within the B.U.S is not an over­ar­ch­ing theme but ways of work­ing that re­quest equal at­ten­tion to ev­ery as­pect and re­la­tion­ship in­volved in their mak­ing and pre­sen­ta­tion.

Bor­row­ing its ti­tle from David Fos­ter Wal­lace’s novel In­fi­nite Jest (1996), B.U.S. draws at­ten­tion to the pro­duc­tion as­pect of art in ac­ti­vat­ing con­cepts and ma­te­ri­als, con­nect­ing var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, lo­ca­tions and con­stituents that con­trib­ute to its pro­duc­tion, cir­cu­la­tion and re­cep­tion. The ser­vices car­ried out by works of art, if any, re­main un­spec­i­fied, even when they ful­fill the com­pet­ing de­mands from art in­clud­ing mar­ket mon­e­ti­za­tion, aca­demic ac­cred­i­ta­tion, calls for po­lit­i­cal ef­fi­cacy and use­ful­ness. Yet, each in­stance of vis­i­bil­ity en­ables the re­veal­ing of some as­pects that ques­tion the in­ter­twin­ing of art and daily life. The par­tic­i­pat­ing artists are not only con­cerned with what is made but per­haps more im­por­tantly with how, by whom, un­der what cir­cum­stances and through which pro­cesses it was made. Thus, B.U.S. ac­knowl­edges that con­tem­po­rary art is, at large, the field of aes­thetic in­quiry, and aligns it­self with liv­ing aes­thet­ics call­ing for a height­ened con­sid­er­a­tion of all ar­eas of hu­man life.

Yuriko Saito sug­gests what is ap­pre­cia­ble about a Ja­panese tea cer­e­mony is not lim­ited to the ob­vi­ous items, but that it is de­signed to “fa­cil­i­tate the ut­most aes­thetic ex­pe­ri­ence” in­volv­ing the “place­ment of each im­ple­ment against the back­ground of the geo­met­ric shape of tatami mats” and “the step­ping stones in the gar­den.” This cer­e­mony is rooted in the Zen tra­di­tion, which em­braces ev­ery as­pect of the prac­ti­tioner’s life in­clud­ing wash­ing the face, clean­ing, cook­ing and eat­ing, and con­sid­ers them equal to study­ing the scrip­ture. Sim­i­larly, the con­cept of adab, which is de­scribed by Hamid Dabashi as “Per­sian lit­er­ary hu­man­ism,” re­lates to a wide range of hu­man ac­tiv­ity in­clud­ing speech, gen­eros­ity, the rules of bat­tle­field, friend­ship, mar­riage, gar­den­ing, diet, drink­ing, chang­ing the bed­clothes, play­ing mu­sic as well as ways of liv­ing and ways of dy­ing. Like­wise, in his study of Con­fu­cian­ism, Liu Yuedi ar­gues that the “aes­thetic must be the pro­found stan­dard for the qual­ity of hu­man life, and the de­vel­op­ment of the en­vi­ron­ment and the world. In this light, the task is not to re­cu­per­ate (or re­tool) art po­lit­i­cally, but rather to ac­ti­vate life aes­thet­i­cally.

Fol­low­ing the method­olo­gies in­spired by these aes­thetic tra­di­tions, David Bern­stein’s project "Ob­sessys" (2017-2018) ar­ranges ob­jects that look like tools which re­quest both the artist and the view­ers to imag­ine pos­si­ble uses for. It ex­am­ines the re­la­tions be­tween aes­thetic func­tions and fic­tions of space in de­sign, art and ar­chi­tec­ture. Rosa Si­jben’s "Pocket Work" (2014/2018) is avail­able for per­son-to-per­son view­ing at SALT Galata’s front desk. Fiona Con­nor presents an adap­ta­tion of her "Color Cen­sus" (2016), trans­lat­ing the in­te­rior pal­ette of sev­eral inns in Is­tan­bul’s Karaköy dis­trict into an in­dex­i­cal color chart. While Chris Evans cre­ates hob paint­ings at the kitchens of a num­ber of SALT users, John Ziqiang Wu groups paint­ings and draw­ings that ques­tion con­ven­tions of taste and cri­tique in a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with his stu­dents from Clare­mont, Cal­i­for­nia. The ŠKART col­lec­tive, on the other hand, has worked with a group of housewives to re­vive an al­most for­got­ten prac­tice of em­broi­dery with a slight change of mes­sag­ing.

Danna Va­jda re­sponds to the plat­forms of in­for­ma­tion cir­cu­la­tion in con­tem­po­rary art, such as mag­a­zines and press-re­leases. She turns the re­mains that she col­lected with a mas­ter­ship as if she saves an old work from dis­ap­pear­ing into pieces of a hand­made wardrobe. Aaron Flint Jami­son’s "YU Con­tem­po­rary VS Dept. of Rev­enue Ore­gon & Mult. Co. Asses­sor" (2017) com­piles all le­gal doc­u­ments from a court case about a non-profit cen­ter, one of the co­founder is Jami­son him­self. In the book, or rather in the court­room, Jami­son and his col­leagues ex­plain the art ac­tiv­i­ties of the in­sti­tu­tion, trans­lat­ing their art dis­course into le­gal terms. On the other hand, Cor­ri­dor Project Space in­vites three lo­cal non-profit founders to con­trib­ute to the menu of a din­ner over which the spa­ces, their pro­grams and the state of such art in­sti­tu­tions are dis­cussed.

All the works in B.U.S. op­er­ate on mul­ti­ple yet equally es­sen­tial lev­els and spheres of ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing many con­stituents such as res­i­dents of a build­ing com­plex, a fam­ily, a court­room, mem­bers of a draw­ing class, view­ers, cu­ra­tors. B.U.S. aims to ex­am­ine the “ques­tion of the au­di­ence” and pave the way for some dis­cus­sions: Un­der what con­di­tions does the phe­nom­e­non of au­di­ence oc­cur? When does a group be­come an in­te­gral com­po­nent of a work? When do they turn into par­tic­i­pants?

The first ex­hi­bi­tion of SALT’s “Con­ver­sa­tions” se­ries, “B.U.S.” is pro­grammed by Sohrab Mo­hebbi, cu­ra­tor of Sculp­tureCen­ter, New York, and the ex­hi­bi­tion can be vis­ited un­til July 15.


In 2018, SALT launches a se­ries called “Con­ver­sa­tions,” invit­ing cul­tural prac­ti­tion­ers to de­velop pro­grams in a long-term col­lab­o­ra­tion with the in­sti­tu­tion. Con­ver­sa­tions de­mands in-depth, on-site in­ter­ac­tions, and care, rather than of­fer­ing in­stan­ta­neously con­sum­able pre­sen­ta­tions. The se­ries is rooted in nur­tur­ing mean­ing­ful re­la­tions as op­posed to uti­liz­ing pro­fes­sional net­works. It in­tends to co­here an en­vi­ron­ment of vig­or­ous ex­change that main­tains in­vis­i­ble in­fra­struc­tures against the cur­rent back­drop of economies of con­cepts, events, and au­di­ences. Along­side the guest pro­gram­mers, Con­ver­sa­tions in­volves SALT and its con­stituents in their acts of in­ves­ti­ga­tion and learn­ing around the con­ven­tions of ex­hi­bi­tion mak­ing.


B.U.S. at SALT Galata ex­plores the var­i­ous roles and at­tri­bu­tions works of art as­sume when per­form­ing in di­verse spheres and trav­el­ing across dis­ci­plines. The ex­hi­bi­tion is con­cerned with how, by whom, un­der what cir­cum­stances and through which pro­cesses they are made.

The most com­pre­hen­sive sur­vey of Ay­dan Murteza­oğlu and Bü­lent Şan­gar, prom­i­nent fig­ures in shap­ing Tur­key’s emerg­ing con­tem­po­rary art scene, will also be opened at SALT Bey­oğlu. Their Con­ti­nu­ity Er­ror ex­hibit un­folds their in­de­pen­dent and col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tices dat­ing from the 1990s on­wards.

Upon the com­ple­tion of spa­tial ren­o­va­tions, SALT Bey­oğlu also puts a range of spa­ces to use: Walk-in Cinema host­ing per­for­mances and screen­ings, a serv­ing Kitchen that fa­cil­i­tates foodrelated cul­tural stud­ies, the Win­ter Gar­den and the Robin­son Cru­soe 389 book­store. Spring pro­grams in Is­tan­bul will be ac­com­pa­nied by SALT Ankara talks and work­shops pre­sented in col­lab­o­ra­tion with var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions.

The B.U.S. ex­hi­bi­tion hosts artists who are not only con­cerned with art­works but also the pro­duc­tion as­pects of art

Danna Va­jda’s “un­ti­tled­state­ment­col­lec­tion.”

David Bern­stein’s "Ob­sessys" ar­ranges ob­jects that en­cour­age spec­ta­tors to imag­ine their pos­si­ble uses.

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