a selection of audio works by Sound & Performance Artists from Roaming Biennial of Tehran and

including critiques of the international “biennialization” and ” gentrification ” process.

BIENNIAL TEHRAN urban jealousy Tv INTERVIEW 10.06.2008 with English Subtitle

Urban Jealousy Roaming Biennial of Tehran interview / Bant Magazine MAY 2008; 

- How did everything start, what was the initial idea and how did you meet Amirali?

Serhat K. – I first visited Tehran 12 years ago. Afterwards I made the musical score for a documentary named “Tehran 1380” which had been shown on Iran and some European TV channels. I already knew some people from the Tehran art scene. I first met Amirali about 3 years ago. Before that, we had heard about each other, yet until he came to Istanbul for an exhibiton where I first saw his posters and stickers, I thought his agenda and works were somehow similar to mine. In 2006, he invited me to his exhibition “Deeper Depressions” to which I contributed with a video. The year after, he invited me again for another Project which was related to Tehran and Berlin. I joined this event with an audio-visual performance called “NO Goethe, NO Hafız NO Bridge NO Biennial”. Since that time, the idea of a collaboration was brewing in our heads. He gave me some works of Iranian artists. They were very successful, but I did not have the aim to exhibit any works of contemporary or new Iranian artists anywhere. Indeed, I did not want this to happen because that idea reminded me of previously organized European exhibitons with inadequate concepts of Istanbul, with Turkish artists as contributors. 
We tried to define a concept about our common problems in order to start a collaboration. One day, when I was in Tehran I heard some Iranian artists, sitting next to me and chatting. One of them said “Maybe we should feel lucky that we do not have an International Biennial” and everybody laughed at this joke. At that very moment it flashed in my mind and said to Amirali: ” I found it! Our topic will be a Tehran Biennial and the first stage will be in Istanbul under the name Biennial Tehran”. Further, I found the concept “Jealousy”. Amirali finished it by adding “urban” and wrote a very nice article about the exhibiton. We planned no limitation of contributions from Iranian artists only. Because good works do not have a nationality. 
- Another mission of this exhibiton is to stay dissident against these global & corporate biennials which, somehow restrict themselves and their contributing artists. What would you say about this perspective?

Serhat K. – For a pretty long time, I’ve been performing in many countries about the relation between Global Energy pipelines and the compelling “Cultural Dialogue” attempts, the involvement of global capitalism in building bridges, branding cities and major art events. And naturally it is normal that these events which are voluntarily participating, tend to be more sterile and the same. Since beginnig of the millenium, I have been performing some Works with partially humorous content about this “Curators Hegemony” and Biennialism. I even wrote some articles about this subject for some magazines. So yes; one of the major questions we are asking is, “Why are these Biennials are organized only by Ministries of Culture, big Art Foundations and modern Holding companies?”. Another purpose is to question the status differences in the Art scene. Do people with limited skills not have the right to launch a Biennial? But the main purpose will be the attitude of the contributors and the places used for the exhibitions. 
Urban Jealousy @ Istanbul Street - 05/2008 / illuminated Advertising Panel / Işıklı Reklam Panosu 05/2008- Sitenzil Sokak Zaaaart / 
International Roaming Biennial of Tehran First Interview 
Urban Jealousy - Kiskaniyorum, Karien van Assendelft - Lets Talk, Negativland - Over The Hiccups, Tape Beatles - Fabulous Things Good Times and G.N.P, Gozel Radio - No Cultural Pipeline Dialogue, Ansgar Tappert - Olkrise, Belgrade Noise Society - Your Head is Backwards 
Urban Jealousy Radio Berlin 95.2 - Guducik, Vst Spor - Sertkore, Lobodik - Mieten Stop, Biennial Tehran Band - BallgradJunktionGudubik2/5bzBijanEva, The 11 - Much Love from Bandar, Ohmnoise - Sex With Pee Dot Hauptfleisch, Vento - St Petersburg Ankara, Sorin Paun - 8 minutes Left, Erfanabdi - Session with Nicolas, Emanuele,Matteo,Dario - Belgrade Openning Session . 

Urban Jealousy Roaming Biennial of Tehran Interview / S Magazine Interview OCTOBER 2008 - - On…

Copy Art, Shop Window Culture, Hidden Face of the City, Urban Struggle, Dialogue Fetishism 

- Did you face any difficulties to maintain the independence, and continuity of the exhibition? In this regard, which issues do you pay special attention to?

Serhat K. - We paid special attention to the issue that the exhibition be held in independent venues/spaces. We received various offers from different countries, but we did not accept these offers, for they included positions that could hinder the independence of the exhibition. We are tring to keep away from holding company museums that are way too interested in art, from the rulers suffering from dialogue fetishism that speak on behalf of others, and from the cultural activities that seem to use cultural events as a window dressing for promoting the cities as brands –so common in various parts of the world, and so directly based on economic reasons. I hope we continue to keep up, without being mistaken.

- What are in your plans for Berlin? What is the progress of your attempts at finding venues/spaces and organizing activities?

Serhat K. - Both for presenting the exhibition and for finding venues, with the help of friends in our circles, we are trying to use various independent formations and channels of the world that we have been in contact with for a long while. In Berlin, there will be five exhibition spaces, and also in some other venues, some side-events will take place. Also, in Berlin, along with the theme “Urban Jealousy”, various performances and panel discussions will be held on the theme “Gentrification /Urban Struggle and Cultural Shop Window Relations”.



Its eyes turned green with jealousy, our path it crossed. That green-eyed thing, market of arts as it was disguised, said, “You are mine”, and then we fled. It wanted us as a trophy wife for a poseur’s call, a mistress on the fetishist institution’s hall, and we fled. It was a roaming biennial, a different love story we enjoyed. Landing from Istanbul to Berlin and Belgrade, ours was not the only path for sure, on which its green-eyes dawned.

Once upon a time, and under a desiring gaze, freak is the one the green-eyed thing looked out; it was a duty call. For, on the outskirts of the circus and the fair, exoticism is the freak’s license; he was set out for a stroll. If a connoisseur was willing to pay for a glance, the freak was tolerated to get out, within the limits of the wall. Often the freak was strong enough, then opened an arena, and he was let out, as long as the patrons did not appall. When the patrons asked for entertainment, to their table came the freak, allowed to sit out, but not for hospitality at all.

The creatures to be moved out, boot out, walled out, put out; they are called freaks, the subject we address with the words below. Take the freak as the scary monster, the creepy creature, anyone unusual, in his physical appearance or patterns of behavior. Freakiness is in the eyes of the beholder, may he be the patron or the connoisseur, guarded by eyes so green, and up above. New rules of inclusion and exclusion are set in the city; gentrification and security are the themes that blink on the shiny screen, hung on the city’s door.

In today’s cityscape, the connoisseur is after exchanging a glance, a glance that would maximize his gain, make him want more and more again. For the green-eyed thing, this is the sign of the times, today’s ultimate claim. As the search for gain lands him on urban rent, appropriating the place the freak lives in becomes the connoisseur’s aim. The connoisseur is taken over by the green-eyed thing, to say it once again. Read jealousy as greed, the connoisseur yearns to be the patron; green-eyes flare the same.

Asking for more, the greedy displaces us, but not as a whole. First he targets the freak, questions what the freak is doing in this hole. “Get the hell out of here” says his inner voice. He whispers sweet words, but then comes an iron fist, banging on the freak’s door. He announces: “These freaks, aren’t they the criminals, threats, enemies? We have to get rid of them once and for all.” He demands stamps on ass, chips in arms, and says: “We can mop them out behind walls and barbed wires, outside the frontiers of our hall. Isn’t this the most secure and efficient of it all?” Gentrification, regeneration, sustainability is the catch phrase; the greedy is the connoisseur, the standard-bearer of this call.

That green-eyed thing, it fixes the desiring gaze on them again. The greedy is able to reconstruct the freak, searching to maximize his gain. There is the exotic, the gifted, the beautiful among the freak, why bother the slain. He takes the talent, exhibits the gift, embodies the beauty, the genie, whatever the freak has as for a peculiarity; this is his optimistic claim. “Enjoy the bridge… Join the dialogue… Cooperate…” he says, without any shame. When recruitment does not pay, he can start all over again. He institutes a brand new market; grins the green-eyed thing, for this is in its name.

“The city does not want you, if you do not have market value.” says the green-eyed thing, it is the command. No room for mockery, criticism or comment. Those who dare to challenge this, grow a third eye, sixth finger, a tail or a horn. They become the freak, the threat, the enemy; the greedy is in a battle, but he is not forlorn. They have a file, wide open, seen with eyes so green. “Bio-measure out, gene out, heat out, but efficiently”, so says the decree. It is written in the greedy’s name, with the highest degree of security.

“The city does not want you, if you do not buy market value” adds the greedy; it makes the green-eyes gleam. “Consumption means acceptability, otherwise it is freaky” are the words that go with the stream. The stream pushes the freak to a distant playground, only there, he is let to live, go wild and scream. Yet he should not leave the playground, as the mess scattered outside these limits, contaminates the dream. The dream belongs to the green-eyed thing; without the freak in it, the city is secure, neat and clean.

In matters of inclusion and exclusion, the patrons’ authority is absolute; the green-eyed thing is in vain. Do not ask whether the connoisseur is jealous of the freak; his home, his peculiarity, his existence is in line, for the sake of greed. The gods of the new and expanding market are now disguised as high-security, they demand obedience; otherwise you are the broken reed. They ask for sacrifice, day in, day out, this is how the green-eyes feed. Yet it wants new flavors after a point of saturation, meaning sacrifices in new terrains, in a more exotic breed.

Urban-lousy, patrons-greedy, take jealousy as the base-line or the cream. Freakiness is in the eyes of the beholder; the beholder looks for new markets, it is not a daydream. The freaks become the new dragons, cyclops, monsters, creeps, dinosaurs of the old maps; the unknown is hand in hand with any unbearable thing. What are the freaks supposed to do then? We do not know, nor can we provide the ultimate cling. Keep in mind, there are escape routes for the unrecruitable, and they are on the brink.

In the escape routes, let us not hesitate being lousier than the cityscape, and care to fall no prey to the greedy, the security, nor to become a decoration in the extended market scheme. Let us keep on becoming the dragons, cyclops, monsters, creeps, dinosaurs, freaks of our own maps, speak our own words independently, get together and then flee in different directions, taking pains to remain outside in every moment and in every scene.