Open Phone Booth
Nilbar Güreş’s installation Open Phone Booth, constituent of video and photographs, and premiered in the fall of 2011 at the Frieze Art Fair, will be exhibited for the first time in Turkey at Rampa Gallery’s project space on Şair Nedim Avenue.
Stripped of personal references, this work is transformed into a contemporary “social realist” painting; it is inspired by observations and experiences in one of the Alevi-Kurdish villages in Bingöl, still deprived of basic infrastructural elements such as roads, water, and telephone. The three-channel video installation opens up with multiple perspectives the ironic situation that arises by the switchboard that was brought in the 1970s and became dysfunctional in the 1980s due to the conflicts in the region. The videos become a portrait of the villagers who in order to use the cell phones—accessible to almost everyone—go up to the hills to be within the “reception area.” In the video projections, the villagers seek a high enough point with good reception around the village to connect with the outside world; going up and down, they share with us their troubles, their anxiety to congratulate the holidays or their moments of confiding with their close ones. In this sense, Open Phone Booth affords us a lucid reading of today through the frameworks of economic transformation, communication technologies, the understanding of social government and civil rights, functioning as a lens that clerly show the situation within shifting values. The difference between the citizen and the client is right here and how could that be explained now?