photos by Ayşe Kaya
Watching Queer or the Golden Age of Blue Men
The performance was part of 14th !f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival
© Istanbul Queer Art Collective
Performed by Tuna Erdem, Seda Ergül, Onur Gökhan Gökçek, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu
Based on the Original Score: "Monochrome for Yves Klein, Fluxversion I" by Ben Vautier
“Watching Queer or The Golden Age of Blue Men” is part of an ongoing project of the Istanbul Queer Art Collective which is to render Fluxus performances “queer” and adapt them to contemporary Turkey. As part of this project we wanted to reenact the 1963 Fluxus score “Monochrome for Yves Klein, Fluxversion I” by Ben Vauiter. We got in touch with the director of the International Independent Film Festival in Istanbul, in secret. We wrote a fake synopsis for a non-existent film, which was printed in the catalogue of the 14th instalment of the festival and became part of the official programme with a scheduled screening. We edited footage from the documentation of a previous performance in which we had painted various objects in golden hues. We used mostly the frames that showed the audience watching us perform. When the scheduled time came, people filled the theatre of SALT Beyoğlu, expecting to watch a movie about queer sex followed by a talk with the director and film crew of this film which were supposedly members of the Strap-On Arts Alliance. A few minutes after the fake movie started, we as the 4 members of the Istanbul Art Collective walked on stage clad in glamorous outfits and proceeded to paint the screen with black paint. We thought the paint would render the film invisible but it didn’t instead the screen became an abstract watercolour painting combining the paint with the still visible images underneath. The audience sat throughout this performance without any visible reaction except a few people who checked their catalogues to ascertain they were at the right screening. We had expected more reaction and even interaction and concluded that the festival crowd prefers to keep a nonchalant and cool attitude no matter what you throw at them. We on the other hand had fun.