Tying Together The Text Between Two Doors

Supported by the SAHA Art Initiatives Sustainability Fund 2021-22, m-est.org will publish a series of texts focusing on the weather reporting of the respective locations where the invited artists and writers are based. The series intends to address the artistic strategies to measure, report, fabulate, and tell stories about the weather, air flows, circulation, and other high to low pressure aspects of our practices and cities. The texts will be accompanied by talks and readings between spring 2022 and spring 2023.

We continue this series that we launched in April with Yasemin Nur’s “Tying Together The Text Between Two Doors.” This work functions as a guide that helps us accompany Yasemin’s meandering across text and image-based notes in which materials, surfaces, and spaces are entangled. Yasemin’s positioning as a recorder of her own practice in which the permeable objecthoods of the research processes, the temporal foldings within the quotidian, and the mutual infections of the languages of things and her excitement about relaying the issues that haunt her include these questions that are urgent today: From where could we begin to see, feel, and comprehend the tangible common denominators embedded within the communication of things? Would it be possible to facilitate another language, another form of communication through bringing things side by side? 

This text, which formed around our correspondence with Yasemin, which was initiated through an e-mail with the subject line “a textual invitation” on January 31, 2022, was written around photographs of things. —Merve Ünsal

Yasemin Nur

I’m wandering inside our correspondence (I consider our correspondences a space). 

I went over to collect the materials after the shoot. And in one of the large vases and the glasses that we used in a scene, there were plants, sitting in water. 

I watched that flower left in water yesterday night, I’m sharing it with you as an attachment. 

I also discovered that the colors of the flowers do not bleed in drinking water, it has to be chlorinated tap water!

I put the water that had taken on the color of the discarded flowers in jars and brought them home. 

And then I corresponded with a friend and he said, you always put your sheets of paper horizontally in containers, why don’t you place them vertically. 

I placed the paper vertically in a jar for the first time. A slight shift can be so transformative for the mind… I had always left the sheets of paper flat in soup plates, letting the paper be soaked in the water of the plants that I had been boiling

Let’s see how the sheets of paper will dry… 

A moment when I had glanced over, I saw that the water inside the jar was diminishing. 

During the process of this text’s coming into being, the vertical sheet of paper has soaked in all the water, then dried. It has settled into the jar. 

It remains on the table where the text has opened up, spilled, often closed down, folded.

From the place where I had written to you where I had begun to think about color, I have now arrived here. 

There are things I want to share. 

When dried flowers fully bled their color into the water, when the vertical line disappeared, I began to draw the flowers across from me with the same colored water. 

After having used the water like paint, I placed a sheet of paper in the flower’s water. Then I placed that sheet on top of the drawing, the image. I squeezed the water out. 

A different kind of blue purple, I thought this color resembled the violet-blue roses whose colors I scrutinize. They resemble each other as they remain next to each other on the table. Paper flower.

They are spread across on the couches, backs of chairs, lounging. Let them be comfortable. Then they try to open up spaces in the house to settle into. Settling in is necessary. I say, let’s just wait and see, it will find a place. To establish a togetherness for themselves where they are settled.

Writing with movement, meandering, both inside the text and inside the house. 

It had settled on the other side of the divider. I went over for a visit.

I’m now going to pop over to the color-ing section in the text. 

From Merve: I actually felt the transformative power of the idea of verticality-horizontality. (In a TV series that I have been watching, two women use the idiom “tits up” to encourage each other, to egg each other on while two men use the same idiom to talk about biting the dust.) Waiting, to have to wait, the transformational potential of constance have been churning in my mind since I read your e-mail. 

Heteronyms, simultaneity, just like what we had discussed about the miniatures…

I have been churning or rather turning around thoughts on waiting and expectations (it is so wonderful that they turn and turn and then stop.) 

I begin to write the text and then they are transformed.

I stopped the video at 10.50. 

What ties us together

Tying together texts at the press at the newspaper (Serteller, Korhan Atay)

As I meander within the text: 

I opened up Ayşe Şasa’s book, what emerged from within; the leaves that dried between the sheets of an old newspaper

I now how to go back up as I meander in the text. I found the photograph of the vertical sheet of paper within the jar on the table on the other side of the divider. I also want to use that. 

I have now arrived.

This book closes below. 

I didn’t want this shot to include the plastic bag of Hakikat Kırtasiyesi [Truth Stationary], but maybe it is fitting. As below. 

Since I wrote “The Truth and The Slipper” 

The old newspapers and the leaves go between Ayşe Şasa’s book, which then go inside another book. On top are the peonies, dried, with their necks bent.

The truth self-revealing and the slippers. 

When Ayşe Şasa’s book is open, with the tip of the slippers showing on the bottom right. 

My excitement about colors began by watching drying flowers—roses and in particular, violet roses.

Boilings later, all the knowledge-emotions that I had gained but did not know over the years, gathered. A mutual convergence happened through colors. 

I’m returning to the place where I was when I began to correspond with you and Özge, which I had then shared with you, when I watched the flower that I had dried bleed its color into the water where I had placed it vertically, changing color. 

I returned from there. 

First, let the colors from the table then the divider come here. The folded papers on the text go below, next to them are the many foldings of papers on the divider. 

Vertical again, horizontal, inside outside, front and back.

We are folded on ourselves at home.

I made a note, paper, skin, body. Remember. Don’t forget the upside-down flowers on the divider, then there are those on the table. The same flowers had leaned against the table at SAHA Studio, their heads bent. Now they’re here. 

It must be true, what the doctor said, sympathetic heart, I’m excited all the time, especially here, now, in the text. 

First from the table; what I’m boiling is written underneath the table.

Under the plate texts. 

We are now going to visit the doctor with Aral. When we return, photograph the divider from the back and from the front and the sheet of paper underneath the plate. 

I came back, I photographed.

I made a note to give myself some peace of mind. I’m filled to the brim with notes taken, crossovers. 

Folded sheets of paper

Blank sheets

Those going into water

Those coming out of the water

Like the body

Like the skin

The answer I receive from the divider: 

Not a shell, a membrane

Now I have to go the place between the plate and the plaque, I had made a note there. 

I wrote this; let the colors after the table, those from the divider come here. 

They are not going to go there, but come here. 

A sheet of paper immersed in this very yellow water, sitting in a household plate. We don’t know how it would dry, would it remain that very yellow? Next to it on the table is the purple-blue-silver linoleum sheet, in the size of the sheet of paper in the water -close to it-

I came here once again. During this process, the sheet of paper has fully soaked in the yellow water.

I got up from the table. I keep getting up and sitting back down. I see something in the corner of my eye, my mind sees something in the corner of my thoughts, I’m constantly in the motion of getting up and sitting back down. I had told Doğu, I’m constantly in motion at home, the house is small, so perhaps it is like rolling out dough, spreading and trying to expand the home. 

I got up from the table, I put the purple linoleum sheet and the things next to it away and right across from me. 

While placing those on the shelf, I found this on the library shelf. I took it out onto the balcony to photograph. 

The piece of paper that had dried on the oxidized copper sheet like a mark, the dried paper that has soaked in all the water.

I sat down once again and as I was sitting down, I glanced at what was behind me.

I sat down. I need to go back to the place in the text where the yellow sheet of paper and the plate are. 

My insides are fluttering. My hands are shaking. 

I came back here. The paper has soaked in all the water, I took it aside to dry. 

I left home. 

I went on a bus from Kabataş to the Poligon neighborhood yesterday. There was a family on the bus: a child, a mother, and a father. 

As I was going up the Barbaros Boulevard, I got off near home. 

Today, as I was waiting for a bus from Balmumcu to  Kabataş, the bus with the sign, Poligon neighborhood, came and I got on the bus, smiling. Thinking, I got on the bus that I had gotten off of. 

I walked to the back. The same family was there. The mother, the father, and the child. 

We are connected at some place, in one way or the other. I had written, we graze each other. It might be somewhere below, I’ll look again. 

I came home. The sheets of paper that I had placed for drying are waiting.

I promised myself tonight, there is no drawing, taking notes, crossing over. Whatever I write, I write here. 

What is above will wait.

The rim: 

Shall we finish off the text by tidying up the table

Tidying up the table to tidy up the text

I took this from above: Tying together texts at the newspaper (Serteller, Korhan Atay)

The one above will wait: 

The rim:

Let’s put away the sheet of paper that has dried up in the jar, right behind there. 

Let me put it back to the table behind the divider. 

I had photographed the divider from here. The day I took Aral to visit the doctor. 

I brought the yellow narcissus bouquet inside the jar from the table behind the divider over from SAHA Studio, had dried up with its neck bent during the time we spent there. As I went up and down the text, I remembered it and brought it over to this side. 

When the right season arrived, I also bought yellow narcissus for home and they also dried. But they also did not lose their yellowness. The yellow of the ones at the Studio withered. The ones at home did not wither. 

The bouquet at home is hanging on the divider. As I meandered up and down in the text, I tied the narcissus looking up with the ones looking down, tying them together with the ones at home.

I’m going to take back the narcissus that I brought to SAHA Studio to the table behind the divider.

I took them to the table behind the divider. Right next to them on the ground is the gilded drawings that I made looking at this bouquet.

Right across from them on the cupboard are the gilded drawings that I made around the same time of the peonies on the table. 

On the edges of the paper that I traced with a roller, their rims, in between them, I draw.

I look at it from there. 

Then from here next to the text.

We are folded on to ourselves at home. 

I need to continue to tidy up, since I’m back at the table, the text.

They come, they go; it is placed back onto the table on another plate and with its note underneath. 

The table has opened up. 

The top of the text has reminded me, placed here, the environment, the frame, the rim… 

I went for a check-up on February 17, after many years.

A week later, when I went to receive the results of the check-up, the doctor said that I had left branch block in my heart (it made me smile because it was a branch) but that I was okay.

My father sent the recording of my heart to a friend and his friend said he didn’t like what he saw so he gave me a heart ultrasound

On February 28, I saw my heart

My heart didn’t have what they feared, but it beats fast

They said that it could be the sympathetic heart—immediately affected by things

However, I wore a Holter device last Wednesday for control purposes, this device records the heart for 24 hours and hangs around the neck with a lot of wires in a small bag.

When the children called me to them at home, I said, wait, I’m going to collect my cables and then come, that night, as if to say, I’m coming over after I do my hair. 

I thought a lot about Sevim Burak too.

The next day, I gave the device, the cables were disconnected, no results yet.

This is how things are with me these days… 

I want to mention a topic here. I’m thinking about wearing the Holter and this process. I wrote to you about the internal audit and external audit at the university. One is self-control, and the other is external control of the institution.

We had said that the process of wearing the Holter, internal inspection, and the camera that I set up at home that records continuously for 24 hours during SAHA Studio is also external inspection. If we want, we can put a monitoring here without the external auditing.

I wrote “truth and slippers” last on our document, and the rest is the story, maybe the truth.

I am sending you some images in the attachment, I will write them and tie things together.

Tosun Bayrak

A strange story continues on the newspaper clippings for Ayşe Şasa.

These are strange days, it is as if some things meander between us, something that somebody says reemerges on somebody else’s table, a book comes back, a strange sense of togetherness…

I remembered this line when I was writing about getting on the Poligon neighborhood bus in two different directions.

I say that it is very beautiful on this side, looking at it from the other side of the table, seeing the sheet of paper

It works from here

How would you be able to say that? 

To want to remain here

It looks good from here

It is as if—from here—those flower drawings on that sheet (the peonies across from the sheet of paper that are about to dry)

Those drawings are drawn with the waters of the sheets of paper that are in the process of drying in the plates

Or are in the process of painting the paper

That and that

They are separate but that and thats

It is impossible not to wait

Waiting as they did not wait

I divided up the living room to make a room

The divider divides up the space into two

Front and back

I think this is the best work

Very spatial vital

Özge had come over to the house, in the kitchen was the separators that you find at butcher shops, the one that “separates, tool for separation, distinguisher”

It’s still there, if I were to take it out of its box—the house was redecorated, so I put it away, lots of things were placed on it since then

I asked for the original Holter report from the doctor. That state of watching both from the inside and the outside, turning around, inside-outside scrutiny and creating a gap from this around you, being defined through that gap, entering yourself as much as you exit yourself

When I had read your question first, I took down these two lines of notes. I wanted to share that here as well. 

The absence of method comes from within

I say that life is more expanded than this

I had written down this note from Halide Edip Adıvar’s Ruh ve Maske [Mask and Spirit], expanded coolness

As I was drawing around the question the page attached here emerged.

I thought about this when I was writing; it does not suffice to say simultaneity to be things that happen at the same time, calling it layered

Also, I’m attaching images of the flowers I collected in Greece last week. 

They are waiting to be boiled, just like planes waiting to take off. 

Also, we clean the etching plates with pieces of newspapers. And I’m attaching one of the many convergences that happen. I wanted to share this with you. 

The Truth and the Slipper

Aral and Can -when we were at SAHA Studio, they used to go to espressolab and then come visit us-; they meet Hilal at espressolab. Hilal earns a place after taking the university exam. Then Aral asked her for help from Hilal to learn more about her methods of studying. Hilal started to come over to our place once or twice a week. The days when she came over were in the winter months, it feels strange to write this, but the weather was cold. When Hilal came over, she asked for slippers.

One day, while I was walking around the supermarket in the neighborhood, I saw a nice large pair of supermarket slippers and I bought them. That day, Hilal came over and it was snowing. I had bought the slippers for myself, but when I saw her, I said, look I bought these slippers for you. She was thrilled, she thanked me. 

When their study session with Aral was done, she came over to me and said that she had brought me a notebook. Her father was working at the printing house. And they made notebooks as well. I asked her which printing house it was and when she said, they were located in Bağcılar, I asked whether it was the Barıns’. Emir Barın had mentioned it. She answered saying that yes, it was indeed there where her father worked. A notebook with a green cover. We appreciate notebooks. 

After she left that day, I looked at the notebook more closely. There were notes and drawings in the first two pages. 

The truth always reveals itself. I hadn’t bought the slippers for her, but that’s not what I said, I gave it to her and from what I understand, the notebook was not meant for me, but she gave it to me.

The truth always prevails. 

I have the heels of a repaired boot in a bag, I keep it, I think it means something. Heels, prosthetics. (The definition of prosthetic memory comes to mind. Sinan had mentioned this.)

And maybe my notebooks that will guide the encounters we talked about. I am sending you two pages (I opened up the notebooks and took photos twice) from the notebook of 2017-2018-2019-2020-2021 decoctions.

So that the notes can guide.

When eavesdropping, droppings they are

Ever since I was a child, I listen to the people next to me wherever they are. I love to eavesdrop.

Years ago, I did an exhibition at the Apartment Project, when it was located in Istanbul; the name was “God is my recorder.” I was recording conversations on the subway with a voice recorder.

The name of the exhibition came from the conversation of the two men walking in front of me. He was trying to somehow convince his friend of his testimony, and he finally said that sentence.

Now I thought about what it would be like to be here, round and round the same table. It’s also an environment.

Merve, how nice it was to have you at this table when you came by. 

A flower in a tea glass from the table

The flower settled into the neck of the glass where the mouth meets the glass

As the water recedes part of the flower’s sap remains in the water while the rest still sway in water

I can’t say that I’ve been waiting we wait for the days together maybe

We are going to watch the water recede bit by bit

Between two doors, opening to the inside and the outside, outside and the inside

Entering the dean’s room, outside and inside, leaving inside and outside

There are two doors and there is a gap between the two doors. When you close them both, you remain between the two closed doors

It must have been made like this so that the voices from the inside cannot be listened to from the outside—where the outside is is unclear. 

Sometimes, when I close the door after having visited the dean and the other door appears, I’m situated between the doors and I smile. 

I tried to take photographs to show you. 

9.5.2022

Istanbul, again

PS: I played this Italian song I love for the youth at home; Aral said, this song smells like grandma’s car. 

PS2:

I’m thinking about the text. Some of the sentences emerged by themselves. But they are tough on the inside.

For example, we are folded on to ourselves at home. What I was trying to say was that we were folding in front of and behind the divider, but there is also the sensation that we are putting up with something there. When I say I’m folding onto myself, there is a similar meaning there too. 

As I was emptying the table, a plate with the paper that has soaked in the water comes to fill that spot. 

I remember having written, they come, they go. 

I contemplated this today, is it anger felt towards placelessness, insufficiency, to be disposable, or is it acceptance. 

What are those things that evoke such anger, concealed as subtext? 

This is also a neck

Between two sentences between two doors

As I thought about the photographs I took, I know that what I’m doing is not photographing but recording. Trying to hold some things, similar to putting things here and there

In reality, everything is up in the air

As am I

At the end of the day, I live on the 6th floor. 

5.6.2022

This text is available in Turkish thanks to Merve Ünsal’s translation, here.