Here and Now

Here and Now, 2019

Mahir Namur

Sinopale 7, “Here and Where / A Politics of Location”
Curator: Aslı Serbest & Mona Mahall

The collective production in Sinopale cannot be reduced to just a physical action of producing artworks together and setting up an exhibition. It also creates a space for a cognitive, emotional and spiritual summit. Artists gathering from different points of the world interact intensely with each other, with city’s inhabitants, with the spaces they live in, their culture, history, with beauties and problems of the city for the  short time they stay. What they leave behind or what they take with them is the experience they had. This experience finds expression partly by the art works that they produce. The cultural, political, social, spatial impacts and the following-up projects can be observed in log-term but their experiences and their meaning making process out of this experience remain invisible. What is going on “here and now” in their inner world? What is their subjective experience like? How do they give meaning to that what is happening? What is its place in their personal lives? In which way are they inspired from it? 

“Here and Now” took place in Sinopale 7, aiming to research the individual and collective cognitive, emotional and spiritual dimensions of the relationalities behind the experienced phenomena. Existential therapy, which states that the reality is only here and now,  was used as a methodology and format for this research. Our minds can go to the past and to the future but the process of thinking, sensing, feeling and the reaction of our body happens all here and now and we experience them here and now. Similarly, one’s spirituality and thus their power of giving meaning speaks up also here and now. Unlike many other psychotherapy schools, existential psychotherapy is based on phenomenological methods of investigation and focuses on describing the phenomena to understand the subjective experiences behind them. The connection between relationality and meaning making is well explained by  Viktor Emil Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy (Meaning focussed therapy), who says that a human is a being which is continually in need of searching for meaning in their life, the meaning nevertheless cannot be found by thinking. A human is an open system, that means always in interaction with something, with someone, with life. Frankl names the concept of man being oriented to something or someone else other than themselves “self transcendence”. Meaning can be found in this relational space. Self-realization can only be a consequence of searching for meaning. 

“Here and Now” held an artistic research on the process of meaning-making of artists through relationality. It was a collective reflection process of 8 artists taking part in Sinopale. After the process of group interaction, interviews on “how they have been inspired by the process of production and reflection during Sinopale” were held with participants one by one and were archived digitally. Beside the digital archive, participants were free to decide on the form of their artistic expressions on their inspirations.