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Posts tagged ‘Mirko Winkel’

Abesle “İşgal”: Inhabitant’ın yaratıcıları ile söyleşi

Söyleşi: Eylül Fidan Akıncı

Fotoğraflar: Fırat Kuşçu

 Son yıllarda kent ölçeğinde yaşam alanlarının neoliberal politikalar çerçevesinde müdahale ve şekillendirmeye maruz kalması Türkiye’de de başlı başına inceleme konusu haline geldi. İstanbul’un dört bir yanında hala sürmekte olan mutenalaştırma çalışmaları, 90’lı yılların geri dönen kabusu müteahhit salgını, tecrit topluluklarının şehrin tüm boşluklarını doldurması gibi meselelerin yanı sıra, şehrin sakinlerinin homojenleştirilmesi ve ortalamaya dahil olmayanların çevreye tasfiye edilmesi uzak tahayyüller olmaktan çıkıp gündelik hayatta  etkilerini hep beraber yaşadığımız yakıcı sorunlar halini aldı. Read more

“Occupy [Insert your location here]”: An interview with Inhabitant artists

Interview by Eylül Fidan Akıncı

Photos by Fırat Kuşçu

South African artists Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie performed their collaborative work Inhabitant, which focused on the habitation struggles of immigrants in the city of Johannesburg, with a new version designed for Istanbul in the frame of iDANS 05 at Dolapdere. Mirko Winkel, one of the creators of Life and Strive, performed last year centering around gated communities in Istanbul, accompanied the group as facilitator. The performance, featuring artists from Istanbul as well as immigrants from the district, was an interesting example of how a neighborhood can be transformed into a stage. Read more

iDANS Festival: Playing with and in danger – The performance of Inhabitant in Dolapdere, Istanbul


Ayşe Draz

The Dolapdere district in Istanbul is infamous for its traffic in rush hour and its inhabitants constituting mainly of lower income and migrant communities as well as thinner addicts and drug dealers. However it might be claimed that the neighborhood has been going through some sort of a gentrification process since Bilgi University, a private Turkish University, has years ago built one of its campuses there and a new grandiose mosque with high technology and neon lights all over, has recently been erected in the neighborhood. Read more

When I was a very rich man (on “Life and Strive”)

Dean Damjanovski

The artistic project “Life and Strive” by the two young Berlin-based artists Anat Eisenberg and Mirko Winkel takes us on a journey into the world of the richest representatives of the global society. Our group consisting of 8 people (max allowed is15) was taken on an arranged meeting for buying apartments in the tallest building in Istanbul located in one of the most luxurious and fast growing parts of the city. Each member of the audience was advised to take on an identity of a potential buyer with an imagined, but still close to reality, biography. After the arrival we’ve been welcomed by a well-dressed salesman who didn’t spare time and energy to explain us in details all the specific characteristics of the building. And there was much to tell – from the state of the art eco-system that preserves 20 per cent of the energy to a golf course on the 38th floor and garden in the apartment. The price was such that probably none of us could ever be able to afford – from 1.7 to 7.8 million US dollars depending on the size, east-west exposure or which floor the apartment is on. This whole almost surreal experience lasted a little over an hour until one of the authors, still in the role of a “freelance agent”, called us to leave because our bus was waiting. Of course, no one made any deal about buying an apartment.

This work raises so many questions on the line of what is “performative”, where is the performance and who is it aimed at that one may think that we are dealing with an ingenious work here. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It is only one of many attempts to transfer performance from specialized places into the public sphere and into everyday life. Nevertheless, the future participants of the “Life and Strive” project will have a memorable experience that will last for a long time.



By Dean Damjanovski

Observing a house is not art

Theresa Steininger

Always wanted to feel like the rich? Always wanted to see an unbelievably luxurious flat? Anat Eisenberg and Mirko Winkel are going to take you: In their performance „Life and Strive“, which they do until 23rd of October every day at 2pm, you kind of become a wealthy person observing one of the most expensive houses in Istanbul, maybe Europe. They make you pretend that you are interested in buying a 7.8-million-dollar-flat, talking with the sales manager and inspecting the flat. In order not to make sales managers too suspicious, they go to different luxury-towers being built in Istanbul at the moment.

Obviously Eisenberg and Winkel want to show that we are all performers, from the sales manager onwards to ourselves. This piece at one hand shows acting in every day life. But on the other hand it is betrayal in various senses: We come to the meeting point willing to observe, not to be active, what then we have to be. Even more, we all betray the sales manager, part of the game is that during the whole excursion, everybody is often thinking about how he will react and if he will notice. In our case he was very cooperative and if he was suspicious, he did not show. He was friendly until the very end, answered all questions, tried to present the flats in all details. Poor guy, one has to think, making so much effort and maybe assuming that these not very rich looking persons will most likely never come back to him to buy….and still he has to stay in his „performance“.

Still for me the difficult thing about this performance was that is was none. Although it was very interesting to see this building from inside, to enter to this science-fiction- world, which all this seemed to me, to think about questions one could ask in order to come up to the part one has to play, and although it was quite enjoyable to see the view from the highest building of Istanbul, for my maybe too limited definition of art, this wasn´t. But thanks for taking us anyway.

Theresa Steininger

All That Is Liquid Vapors into Nothing

 Eylül Akıncı

Anat Eisenberg and Mirko Winkel’s work Life and Strive is a closer examination of the production of desire in a two layered context; on the surface how the desire and need for million liras accommodations is created by intruding into the heart of a metropolis, and beneath how people from (possibly) other social classes react to it in a performative “opportunity”.

The work consists of gathering of participants, informing them about the rise of “gated communities”, namely residential high-security towers throughout the city, and inviting them into these still under construction sites in the alias of high profile shoppers. This invitation comes as surprise if you had not read the program closely, and it is like a guerilla theatre for both the participants/performers and the towers’ client managers/performers, yet a more introversive one.

I think I don’t need to criticize the high capitalist appropriation of public space nor the need for security and estrangement of high upper class in the middle of a city populated with 15 millions of people. I would rather problematize the performance. First of all, if we are supposed to feel resentment against this closed community, it must also be taken into consideration that the situation was actually “gated community versus performative community”; we did not interact with the sales staff sincerely either, we shielded ourselves with another appropriated “gate”. Furthermore, no matter with whom you are talking to, it actually humiliates you to fake an identity and giggle with irony inside without revealing yourself in the end, especially considering the fact that your critical approach towards these ugly buildings and the Faustian will to power behind them changes nothing in real life.

However, upon reflection I felt that what Eisenberg and Winkel actually want to see is the degree of participants’ willingness and performative success/failure to accept the role of millionaire with briefly rehearsed arrogance and dis/interest; they create a milieu for strive to emerge. The only real audience in this performance is the two, walking beside two performative agents (salesmen and clients) like a ghost, muted, visually focused, taking pictures. Yet again, this also becomes problematic in the end; it harms your weakness and “innocence” up against these giant buildings at the cost of a semi-psychological experiment which has the danger of causing a self-accusation on the grounds of voyeurism and of latent desire to gather some sort of power (not necessarily political/to fight back). While we are trying to fit into our roles, to act up, to ask fake questions (though not purposeless), do we not actually get thinned into this world of illusions?

Finally, that only a simple definition of us being “rich people” and not instead a loose script was given is a weakness on the performance’s part in technical terms. In addition, no option of withdrawal is offered during the beginning brief. I think that would enhance the quality of their overall research more.

Intrusion answered with intrusion. A “nice” outcome is confronting with the fact that you have no control over Mephistopheles and no crack in this perfect system to become an activist, that you may condescend to a bitter performance of revenge with impotent strive. In the end, what you are left with is pure nihilism, fatigue and no desire to think further about this obscenity.

Eylül Akıncı

Life and Strive by Anat Eisenberg & Mirko Winkel

Martina Rösler

The two young artists Anat Eisenberg & Mirko Winkel based in Berlin met each other in the MA-programme „Solo/Dance/Authorship“ at the Inter-University Center for Dance (Berlin). In their new work, created especially for the city of Istanbul, they do a research on the current trends in upper class residential buildings, which are based on the creation of self-contained, separate communities.
A limited number of spectators/participants (maximal 15 people) is meeting on the rooftop of luxury Marmara Hotel, offering a stunning view over Istanbul. The artists introduce their work very briefly and inform us that we are going to have an appointment in such a building pretending we are willing to buy or invest. We are encouraged to create a fake identity in terms of believability.
The duration of the transfer in a minibus stimulates various thoughts about identity, the further development and also doubts about the veritableness of the whole event. Will we ever arrive? We do! The two artists split the group and stay as “assistants” with them. Two different buildings are examined. A “real” sales conversation takes its course, finding ourselves in the 26th floor of the construction site of Rixos Residences with a breathtaking view, talking about prices and furniture. The absurdity of the whole situation, which started playful is getting unpleasant and objectionable. One of the interlocutors is not clearly aware of the fact that the entire dialog is not real, not honest. This unequal degree of knowledgeability makes the project non-transparent and somehow missing the point.
The journey ends again at the starting point, but the “audience” is left alone with a lot of questions. What remains is simultaneously an abiding memory and unique experience as well as an indisposition and discomfort about the whole topic of differentiation, exclusion, affiliation and membership.