Director of MUDAM, Musée d'art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean: Marie-Claude Beaud
Curators: Yasemin Baydar, Birol Demir  Editors: Birhan Keskin, Tül Akbal Süalp
Editorial Support: Olcay Akyıldız, Özen Yula, Ayla Kanbur  
Project Assistant: Eren Pultar
Participants: zehra uçar, dilek aksu, ayşe erkmen, gökhan kırdar, engin akın, yasmin iris yağlıyan rostomyan,
tanju özelgin, yasemin baydar, birol demir, maksut aşkar, ahmet elhan, birhan keskin, tül akbal süalp, özen yula
thanks to vasıf kortun, nurcan özaslan, nuran terzioðlu, kaan hanoğlu, berna atila, buket baydar, levent morgök, meral alla, arife şengül,
emrah cengiz, laden yurttagüler, yasemin özcan kaya, protein consultancy co., kobra kauçuk/ hüsnü çep, beydur/hasan koçak, saridan/ necati sezgin,
parkyeri/giray pultar, murat avcı, ofset yapımevi, sermet tolan, cafer aktaş, natura/kemal topal, anadolu cam

~self 01 is a project proposed by :mentalKLINIK for MUDAM Camp De Base, in partnership with Banque de Luxembourg, Supported by CargoLux

a shadowy and undefined, aorist present

Does the "self" have a firm footing? What about "nefs" 1 and "kendi" 2? Don't we use "I" and "the other", "here" and "there" to tell stories? For doesn't the world need, since eternity, a history to be written, and doesn't history need all sorts of stories? And in the final analysis, what are all these but consolations for "being here"? What is the likelihood of "kendi" not being something like the journal of a madman who continuously whispers things from within an "aorist present" and then falls silent, because s/he is just like the universe itself - expanding, containing everything, contracting, shriveling and emptying itself out; an amorphous something whose contents can and do change.

Taking into consideration the overuse and depletion of the concept of "self", both at the level of the arts and in academic discourses, and also cognizant of the threat posed by the fact that this concept is easily inflatable, we planned a gusty voyage to the centre of this concept, at times using byways. Because we believe the world is a place that makes up and tells stories, it wasn't hard for us to combine the concept of "self" with the concept of "voyage".

The modern age has dodged wo/man. With all his/her torn knots dangling in the void, like a string pulled from a wholesome plait, like a stalk, the individual has turned into a dry and cardboard-like object, especially after the advent of psychoanalysis. Devoid of all contexts and underpinnings, this anxious single individual needs a light that will fall on him/her and bring him/her back to life. A light that will darken and deepen its shadows. We believe that this light will shine from a certain place or location, from memory; in other words, from a story. The possible routes, then, are plain to see: it is necessary to sail to certain places and come back from this crusade with experiences that will fill one's being and give it meaning. That way, today's single individual, vacuumed more than ever into an anxiety for the future, will be able to breathe in an "aorist present". And weave his/her own fabric anew in ample time. If, after all the time that has passed since that audacious voice first claimed "I is another"3, I is still another, we still stand a chance for real communication and a sense of justice. And hence, there is still a possibility to keep "hope" for wo/man. :mentalKLİNİK knows that in the streets of life, every soul feels a chill and shivers a little. It knows even better that the soul feels even colder if the wind of the place and the times one lives in is somewhat strong. "This place" is a wide area of myths. As always, we have assumed a stance "from the inside", a "sincere" stance, under a subject heading like "self".

1 "nefs: noun. 1. self, one's own personality. 2. the essence of anything, its very substance or reality. 3. seminal fluid. 4. soul; spirit; life.
5. the carnal man, the flesh, the spirit of concupiscence." New Redhouse Turkish English Dictionary, Redhouse Press, İstanbul, 1979.
2 "kendi: personal pronoun. oneself; self; own." New Redhouse Turkish English Dictionary, Redhouse

Press, İstanbul, 1979. kendi: 1.essential being. 2. pronoun used in a sentence to emphasize the subject. 3. pronoun used to imply there is no i
nfluence of anything/one else in an action or occurrence. 4. belonging to oneself, personal. Translated from Temel Türkçe Sözlük
(Basic Turkish Dictionary), İnkılap Publishing, 1985.
3 "Je est un autre", Arthur Rimbaud.

:mentalKLINIK defined self01, as an encounter with the dangerous images of a blurred culture, in a undefined world. :mentalKLINIK, with this interlayer called ExpoVente, provided an opportunity for the beholders from Luxembourg, to experience one of prototype states. Works/products, produced with participants, were inspired by its excursions on culture layers, by expanding the time upon its standing geography. :mentalKLINIK, with.~self 01 built a new language by making a far-from-authenticity transformation possible, with changing production consciousness and productions that 21st century’s still-hand making production.

The ~self Experience

Doesn’t the moment of finding one’s self coincide exactly with the moment of losing it?

When :mentalKLINIK  embarked on the voyage that was the .~self 01 we sort of assumed there was a multi-layered, multi-lingual structure in the horizon, and that this structure was surrounded by fog. The self was a structure you could fill up and empty out and rebuild; it was made up of numerous smaller parts. We marked this structure with some headings that suited our spirit and with some concepts that we thought were relevant to the self; we designated the course of the self as journeys of varying length between these points.

The .~self 01  had light and darkness, it contained opposites, it hid and covered itself, it had proclivities and stances, it could be dressed up and changed but never be owned or assimilated. It had a certain gravity, it belonged to time and space, and yet it always stood in a threshold. It was in some sort of transit, passing from one state to another, and it was multifarious. For us, then, the self was a “shadowy and undefined, aorist present.”

Thus, we and the participants in this project began a new voyage of “construction”, once again inviting in the soul that had long been absent from its self (having escaped from the inside), traveling in the temporarily frozen moments of time and space, and pointing out the things that struck our eyes during this voyage - sometimes less, sometimes more.

In this project we also wanted to see the results to be obtained from various stances/states of being, such as standing alone, being only itself and nothing else, standing side by side with another, contradicting each other, minding its own business, etc. We hoped this would lead each “self” to be a part of a greater whole with other “selves” for a number of times, and to come up with its own work/experience for this project. We felt throughout the voyage that we were heading towards a self that was unadorned, scarred, modest, and moody; that we would weave it and that, in the end, all roads would always lead to it. At some stops we tried to bring it out into the open; at others, we tried to cover it up. That way identity, the structure which is perpetually constructed and torn down, always incomplete and with winds blowing through it, would show us itself, with all its shadows and darkness.

At the end of the voyage very different works emerged, belonging to very different “insides” and experiences: thick, solid, and plain experiences and works that could be neighbors with each other - we could call them the color of the shadow, the shadow itself, the states of an object, the present of memory, the plural of the singular, the product of geography, the body itself, the memory of experience or the like...

The exhibition of the .~self 01 was inspired by the experience of “weaving the self”, and thus it used techniques like wrapping, knitting, and covering to create a space that allowed one to stand beside, in front of, behind, above, and under.

WORKS OF ~self 01

Yasemin Baydar, Birol Demir
100% Wool, Handwoven Carpet

birol demir created this project, based on the idea that the memory of every location and experience has certain layers that come to the forefront, while others are erased or pushed deep down, thus turning memory into a language that is occasionally faint and pale; that in time, memory may approach indefiniteness. birol demir and yasemin baydar formed comparative couples of sixteenth century carpets made in the aegean and inner anatolian regions, re-designing and re-coloring them. these carpets were hand-made with wool on wool by eighteen women from the aksaray region, preserving their own signs of feeling and experience; the carpets came in three sizes - prayer rug, bed cover, and floor cover.

REVNAK, 2004
Tanju Özelgin
goatskin stretched on aluminum
carcass and 36-zone led lighting
placed on the inside

based on the idea that each being rests on constant mutability, which is shrouded in light and darkness, and forms secrets and shadows, this work was created by tanju özelgin in such a way that  it would create different shadows and lights each time it is turned on and off. goatskin stretched on aluminum carcass and 36-zone led lighting placed on the inside of the carcass were used to cast abstract and changing shadows on the back of the goatskin.

Yasemin Baydar
Cap, Artificial Hair

hair, one of the strongest physical aspects of wo/man, one that is as familiar and customary as it is foreign and savage, crowded and massive, provides the point of departure for this project by yasemin baydar; it is based on the transformation of an image, both continuous and alterable, into a wearable product. it was made with fibrous material and unfinished wigs, sexless and discorporate; it was cut by keeping in mind others may like to remodel it, and was actually tried on a number of people before being modelled. birhan keskin entitled these products as “kalabalık”.

project yasemin baydar, birol demir, dilek aksu

yasemin baydar and birol demir constructed this work, and together with dilek aksu they gave it its final form based on the idea of looking at the memory of an age from the present, and moving between the "frozen" creases of the past and a vast region. the products were shaped using the simplest connection details in textiles, such as joining, extending, and attaching; the inspiration for the models came from the everyday clothes of the 1800s. the garments were designed to be sexless and discorporate, suitable to be fitted on all bodies according to one's wish. the fabrics for the garments, specially handmade (silk+silk, silk+wool, silk+linen), were produced by dilek aksu in birgi, izmir. the products were entitled "koyu kıvam" after a poem by birhan keskin.

Yasmin İris Yağlıyan Rostomyan
Body Attachment-Garment
100% Black Polyester Yarn
On Cotton And Wool Fabric

this work was designed by yasmin iris yağlıyan rostomyan, so that it would create a spine for the fabric, providing different creases, different silhouettes, and a continual change of shape. the idea behind the project was to create a sexless and discorporate body accessory, not a dress, that would be constructed on the body itself, changing shape according to each body. for a start that would be as sexless and discorporate as possible, this work was produced by using a maximum 5 models, and a 100% black polyester yarn on cotton and wool fabric, chosen in three different but almost colorless tones.

Ayse Erkmen
Ring chain

selected by ayşe erkmen from the archives of raffi şadyan and levon şadyan, these 25 different ring molds were reproduced as molds using 950 silver, which were then used in making rings. these rings in turn were made into a connected but detachable, single chain. the idea was that taken separately, the parts of this sexless and discorporate chain could be used as rings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces or belts; or, when used as a whole, it could serve as a separator of spaces, or could be used as an extension to individuals or spaces. this work is entitled “ring” by ayşe erkmen.

Yasemin Baydar, Birol Demir
Hardened Handwoven
White Cotton Lace

the idea behind the design of this curtain was to be able to create shadow zones changing with the light that falls on it, to belong to both inside and outside, and to create transitions. nine women separately worked in gönen and istanbul with white cotton lace threads to produce it. the patterns were prepared using the archives of yasemin baydar, zehra uçar and sıdıka öymen. yasemin baydar entitled these products as “hâl.”

Maksut Aşkar
Alternative Energy Drink
Galingale, Licorice Root,
Ginger, Bitter Melon
(Momordica Charantia), Honey,
Cardamom, Nutmeg (Myristica),
Saffron And Dried Rose Petals

this work was designed by maksut aşkar, based on the idea that a healing power might emerge when matching earthly beings approach each other, melt into each other, when roots meet and another whole is produced. This alternative drink contains galingale, licorice root, ginger, bitter melon (momordica charantia), honey, cardamom, nutmeg (myristica), saffron and dried rose petals; it boosts the immune system and has aphrodisiac effects; its creator called it “kök”.

Engin Akın
Sweet Food
Syrup Made From Grapes
İn Seven Different States,
Ranging From Liquid To Solid

the idea behind this project was to combine the base material with “other” materials, to let them mingle with and transform each other. engin akın used “pekmez”, a syrup made from grapes and consumed widely in turkey, creating seven different states of it, ranging from liquid to solid. in each state she used pekmez as the base material and added spices, flour, starch, dried fruits, fragrant herbs and various aromas. five women and a man used engin akın’s recipes and methods to produce seven different mixtures, all based on pekmez, in various parts of turkey (denizli/yenice, muğla/ula, kahramanmaraş, istanbul). engin akın entitled these as “mamul”.

Zehra Uçar
Corner Attachment

architect zehra uçar created this project based on the idea that one needs to show love and care for surfaces of interiors as well as their points of intersection. she chose certain situations that posed no problems of geometrical structure, and created these corner attachments using 925 silver, designed especially for repeated dismantling and affixing on the outer corners. zehra uçar entitled these attachments as “mukarnas”.


Birhan Keskin, Özen Yula, Tül Akbal Süalp
Book Design: :mentalKLINIK
MUDAM, Luxembourg,
ISBN: 9758614029
268 Pages,1000 Copies

this book, which could be described as an attempted journey into the foggy life of a woman character called “lamia” by özen yula, was written jointly and simultaneously by three writers (a playwright, a poet, and an academic). entitled by birhan keskin as “eksik kitap tuhaf defter”, this book is based on the idea that wo/man is a memory passing through the world and that this memory loses its realness with time, becomes old, and turns into a myth; it focuses on the assumption that wo/man is a “project” never to be completed.

Project and Design: :mentalKLINIK,
Photography: Ahmet Elhan
Editor:Tül Akbal Süalp
Research: Eren Pultar
Book: MUDAM, Luxembourg,
ISBN: 9758614037
101 Pages,1000 Copies

“contents” is a project created by yasemin baydar and birol demir, based on the idea that it ought to be a shadow that records all the states and the whole voyage of the ~self project. the selection was made among thousands of photographs taken by ahmet elhan since 1977,  which marks the beginning of his career as a photographer. this selection is enveloped by the works of yasemin baydar, birol demir, and tül akbal süalp - works mapping out the states of people in everyday life from the outside.  this book, which could be described as an attempted journey into the foggy life of a woman character called “lamia” by özen yula, was written jointly and simultaneously by three writers (a playwright, a poet, and an academic). entitled by birhan keskin as “eksik kitap tuhaf defter”,