May 20, 2018 Mardin Museum Archeopark Area
What is a game? If are seeking a direct answer to this question, it means that we are wasting time of our life in a futile effort. Thousands of words have been written on it, but neither philosophers, nor scientists or clergymen, economists or experts in any other field have failed to unravel the mystery behind game that is as old as history of mankind. Each game is an immense ocean which produces hundreds of meanings, the understanding of which require something beyond words, maybe sensations. As “mezopArt”, we have chosen one of the most ancient of these games, the Hopscotch, and we are, in one way or the other, determined to reveal its secret. First of all, it is not known where hopscotch originated from or who invented it, but it is a game that is played in all corners of the world, even in antiquity. Some argue that it was invented by Roman soldiers during war exercises; what is clear that remnants of hopscotch drawings symbollizing phases, cycles of human life are of a kind that would overshadow Kabala’s Tree-of-life.
“Sekmeler”, or “Leaps”, is taking up Hopscotch, this most ancient of games, with the participation of viewers, as a cycle of humanity. It is aiming at coupling the cyclical phenomenon in Eastern philosophy with the endlessness of the game, where one returns to the starting point once the end is reached. Could there be a parental link between the vaulted spaces of Mardin structures in which there are four vaults representing the universe, with one door to the sky and door to heaven and the sky and heaven expressions we encounter in the remnants of hopscotch game drawings? The performance continues with the drawing of the hopscotch diagram on the floor and of four performance artists from Turkey and Iran beginning to play. The simultaneous and endless hopping on the diagram of the performance artists, returning again and again to the starting point, at times results in pleasurable scenes when they crash. Every section of the hopscotch diagram has a special meaning for the person drawing it; obviously, also for our performers… While the artist drawing the diagram in this endless cycle tries to include his/her own understanding, the performance artist continue to hop from one section to the other, trying not to touch each other and doing their best not to fail, thus be excluded from the game. At times, five souls, five breaths, five beings share the same section of the diagram… Who will remain alive? Who will expel who? and who will touch the other players in this plane where words don’t have any value? What will happen at the end of the performance when the artist drawing the diagram will hand over to the viewer his/her chalks and the performers will likewise hand over their pebbles? What meaning will the tabs/leaps of life have for them? “Sekmeler” “Tabs/Leaps” is an experimental performance seeking solutions, beyond words, to these questions.
Artists: Yaser Khaseb, İlkay Bilgiç, Mahasti Kia, Şirin Öten, Serkan Bozkurt