The excerpt below consists of an e-mail conversation between Seda Yörüker and Sibel Horada, in April and May 2013. The conversation proceeds as a stream of consciousness, without a predesignated focus. Conceived within a limited time period by exchanging only one e-mail per day, the conversation is constructed as a game where Seda Yörüker photographed and sent Sibel Horada pages from Lale Müldür’s poetry book, Buhurumeryem. The book begins with this sentence: “Herkes is is is istediğini yapar.”(“Everybody does what they we wa wa want.”)
S: I feel like there is an involute, as opposed to a linear, relationship between where we begin and where we had left off. But I cannot remember anything, where had we left off?
S: Shall we name it cyclical movement then? If the only thing we are able to do is to repeat the same dance steps and hope to step out of the circle , it doesn’t really matter where we began and where we had left off.
S: And it is impossible to remember because where we had left off (and who can claim that we actually left somewhere) and where we supposedly started took place solely through coincidences. What is it that makes a coincidence so marvelous, that places it in such a glamorous place in our minds, as if it were a mysterious thing? Is it awareness? But the awareness of what! It seems to me that “coinciding” is the feeling that a certain moment—or whatever it is that is held within that moment—promises to provide the necessary answer to a specific question we happen to be carrying in our minds. What is it that matters to us? We met at that exhibition, in the middle of the remains of a displaced tree. Literally, we ran into each other. Since that day, we kept coinciding as if returning to that tree. In my mind, the place where we had left off, is the same as what is left behind from an uprooted tree. In a way, what remains of that tree is the part of you that doesn’t want to keep anything caged within the construct of time, the part of you that wants to carry it to other temporalities and to make it work like a machine. Today, your desire to take these machines, Untitled Machine and Last Impressions, out of the Passover Bakery, to move them to another exhibition venue…I am not sure if it’s possible to part from a work like parting from a feeling or an obsession. In lieu of being confined by closure, completion and context, you seem to be wanting to trace the proliferation of meanings reproduced by spreading through different spaces and temporalities. This constant desire to go back to old pieces… This constant desire to move, to not pin memory down to a specific moment. Then last year, the irrevocable desire to burn: Always wondering the next state. All this and a constant machine in my mind. More than a question: What is it that matters to us?..
S: I feel like your realize that the answer lies within the question. The question at hand is to find for every moment what it is that matters to us. What we call coincidences are fragments of answers we come across. Details that do not hint at an answer pass us by, but their potential to do so at a later moment—and thus turn into coincidences—remains. That’s why I like records and that’s why I don’t need closures. Exhibiting my old work interests me when I feel that such a potential has emerged. The repeated installation of Untitled Machine corresponded to a time when I was tired of tracing new threads and needed to move by returning to old places. The cyclical movement of the gears, cylinders and chains of the machine brought us to this conversation.
S: You mention that it “corresponded to a time when I was tired of tracing new threads and needed to move by returning to old places.”Here in addition to the perfect vastness of the way you perceive time, in a way the idea of mass production associated with machines is also deterritorialized. What you mean by “corresponding” must partially mean coincidental time. What time and what state did it coincide with? Yesterday there was an explosion at the Boston marathon, and just now, a strong earthquake in Iran. And today, it is raining in Istanbul just like yesterday. Which of our times do all these correspond to? Time is not the same time everywhere, and also for us…There are points where we diverge into its side alleys, move off track and go back while we pretend to be moving forward. Perhaps what matters to us is always only one and the same thing. Listen, I don’t know why but I just recalled your work, Topuz. The virus program on my computer is now preventing me from going to your website and looking at it. No problem, I can find it through Google images. There it is! At that moment these two images on the upper left corner capture everything. A coincidence and a correspondence! This is the only one and the same image that belongs to you from different times. Images, as you implied, move independently from us. Yet I must confess that I would have kept the Untitled Machine in its original context, with all its meanings. When we met a few days ago, you convinced me that the opposite must be attempted, that the work, in a way must be freed. Perhaps the word “convince” is too much, it is what I saw while you were talking. I saw this because from a certain distance, every move in its own subjectivity is valuable and meaningful. What matters to me as much as the distance I take, is your desire to endlessly open up the meanings of your productions and to smooth their paths, which as an action is parallel to your desire to burn, and thus transform. A machine that doesn’t get stuck with one meaning and one way of production…What is interesting to me is to have noticed this. Ultimately, “everyone does what they want”(“herkes istediğini yapar”).
S: But you are skipping over a small detail in this sentence: reluctance and repetition. This is what Müldür actually wrote:
– Herkes is is is istediğini yapar. (Everyone does what they wa wa wa want.)
– Yaa yap yap yapar istediğini. (Doooe doe doe does what they want.)
I am really interested in this state of reluctance and repetition in these lines. It is as if the prerequisite of doing what one wants, the prerequisite of wanting and doing something is a kind of obsessive state of stuttering…In these lines, I can hear the sounds (respectively) of a steam engine and a machine gun. Do you think it’s because wanting corresponds to transforming and construction corresponds to destruction?
S: Exactly because wa waa wanting corresponds to tra traa transforming and co coo construction corresponds to de dee destruction. I hope I can follow you . Destruction as in the reconstruction (rewriting) of (something’s) history…You mentioned obsession, this is important. What concerns us is one and the same thing, the obsession you mentioned itself. Where can obsessions take us? What can we turn around constantly, and each time differently? You had mentioned cyclical movement. There we are again. It seems like the word “cyclical”stands out here, but for me, the more interesting one is “movement”. Movement ultimately has a transformative edge that opens up to new potentials. What to move around instead of what to move towards. The movement machine! If a work from the past is sending signals, what does it mean to listen? The desire to transform (it)? As Carlo Ginzburg also said, “faith is based on hearing”(fides ex auditu). In this case, while you are destroying by hearing these signals, you must also be building something to believe in. Given that I already believe, we are clearly faced with a destruction machine. We believe in a machine, but the machine we speak of is no longer just that machine. What is this machine, occupying our minds for the past two years, where did it come from? The machine that has been sending signals, the machine to which we return to hear what we believe and what we have forgotten, isn’t it all the machines in a way and isn’t it movement itself?
S: Yes…When you talked about Topuz, the other day (you didn’t know why you had brought it up), I had started thinking about what it would be like to see a version of this piece at an upcoming exhibition called Make What I Will From Me. We didn’t connect Topuz to anything then, but when I reconsidered it upon your last comments, as a destruction machine, I decided to confirm its place in the exhibition. Topuz as a machine that potentially opens up a space for desire through, (coincidentally) a kind of cyclical, repetitive motion!
S: Returning to Topuz! If there is something to return to, something to recall, it’s because it is sending the right signals…The decision to return to Topuz immediately after Untitled Machine, seems like a gesture against the suppression of the time machine.If we don’t conceive of time as forward movement, what turns up doesn’t always have to be new; sometimes what turns up is recalling something temporally marked as passé. Moreover, it would be interesting if an artist produced only one piece all her life. To support it, always, everywhere, under all titles and all conditions… Ultimately, no place, time, title or context is the same. We must then call this recalling the machine for resistance to time.
S: Repetition is the result of resistance to time, but also of a kind of passive acceptance. The thing that is demanding to return becomes a dynamic machine and we accept the responsibility of keeping it alive. To keep reproducing the same work over and over again: if this is not a preordained condition, if the work is strong and open enough to remain current and if we haven’t exhausted it yet and our hunger prevails and if it can move us to a different place every time…The situation is reminiscent of your relationship with Buhurumeryem, the book whose pages you diligently number and send me every day. We had inquired it at all the bouquinistes that day, without being able to generate a single copy…Your desire to give copies of this out-of-print book to people you value, each time bearing different associations, a mutual act of sustenance…Don’t you think there is a correspondence between your determination to keep this old book alive and its refusal to dismiss you?
S: The machine for resistance to time particularly involves passive acceptance. Resistance not in the form of obstinance but, as passive movement to use your words. For it doesn’t run towards the new but walks within the old. The largeness to perceive time as an ocean… Perhaps, this book I acquired in 2000 which resulted me to read all of L.M.’s others is very special like all of her old books. I must know the lines of many of her books by heart; giving copies of that book to people I value is a childhood habit. This is how I would describe it. Because of the biennale, L.M. is very much on the agenda with one expression in one of her books; this populism is almost worrying. Because a poet, the production of a poet as a whole needs to be attended with much more care. Anyway, lets go back to where we began; I cannot remember anything, where had we left off?
Seda Yörüker & Sibel Horada
Istanbul, Vienna, London
The Turkish original of the text was published by Istanbul Art News in July 2013. Translation from Turkish: Sibel Horada.
 Stepping Out of the Dance Circle by Taking Dance Steps (Dans Adımları Atarak Dans Yuvarlağının Dışına Çıkmak) is the title of a poem by Lale Müldür.
 I Hope You Can Follow Me (Umarım Takip Edebiliyorsunuzdur) is the title of a poem by Lale Müldür.