The Call (Eyüplü Halit), c-print, gilded frame, 125 x 156 cm. 2016.
The Call (Eyüplü Halit), 2016
In The Call (Eyüplü Halit), stemming from a famous story of Eyüplü Halit, I made a call from various channels (social media etc.) in order to shoot a photograph at a determinate place and date. Here is the text of the call:
Originally from Crete, Eyüplü Halit (Halit of Eyüp) was a holdover from the end of the Ottoman era, a con artist who was always clean-shaven, sharply dressed and unfailingly polite, and whose stories have become an important part of popular culture in Turkey. His most astounding tale (according to Cumhuriyet newspaper of April 4th, 1930) involved him posing as a government clerk, a police chief, an army officer or a rich dandy in order to swindle 68 women out of their jewelry and money with promises of marriage, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison...
Being deceived, hoodwinked, or swindled have become extremely commonly used terms in our economic and political spheres lately. In fact, from Wall Street to the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government, the economic and political history of our period can be told as the story of the deceiver and the deceived, the ones who believe or choose to believe; those who do not believe but pretend to believe; or those who do not believe and who are considered impossible to deceive (and who for that precise reason are deceived the most).
I would like to make a call of help here, inspired by the method employed by Eyüplü Halit and many other con artists, and the link between the personal, the political and the economic. What was that famous trick:
“I might be a government clerk, a handsome officer with a bright future, or a rich and well-dressed gentleman, but at this very moment, at the peril of humiliating myself before such a kind and compassionate lady as yourself, I need to ask for the paltry sum of 1000 lira – to be repaid, naturally, as soon as possible!..”
Is everything ship shape after such an untimely request for help, so inappropriate to the course of a love story at its very start? Does love continue? Has the lady given the money? If so, what will she do with the suspicion that suddenly overwhelms her? In the end, what has the lovely lady chosen: to suppress her suspicion and believe, accepting the risk of her choice, or to give in to her suspicion and perhaps lose a lifelong love for merely a few pennies?
We know that in the Turkey of the time, 68 ladies could still have confidence, or even if they did not have confidence, that they chose to believe.
So how many brides will answer my call?
How many people, in the 2010s, will answer the call to participate in this art project inspired by the story of Eyüplü Halit, which emphatically proposes the idea that—beyond rational facts and data—current economics and politics, as much as our personal relationships, are shaped by dynamics revolving around the act of believing, that is to say believing-disbelieving, convincing-failing to convince, or convincing yourself or to the contrary, crippling yourself with doubt? Will we be able to reach 68 brides?
As opposed to Eyüplü Halit’s promise of love, I cannot offer anything more than the inexplicit pleasure of participating in a photo shoot exploring the questions mentioned above.
It all depends on your decision.
If you believe, or choose to believe this project, I invite you to participate in the collective photo shoot with 68—or more or fewer—brides at the Sait Halim Pasha Mansion on 04/03/2016.
The Call (Eyüplü Halit 1930-2016), C-print gilded frame, 125x156cm. with aluminium label, 2016
AMİRA ARZIK, ARZU ŞENSOY, ASLI GÖBÜLÜK, AYLA GÜL, AYLİN ÇİFTÇİ, AYŞE TÜMERKAN, BAŞAK KONT SEZGİN, BERNA ULUÇAY, BETÜL ŞENOCAK, CANAN EREN ARDİTTİ, CANSU BAHADIR, CAROLİNE LAFOREST, CEVHERE KONAR, DAHLİA SUBAŞI, DERYA KAPLAN, DERYA KOÇAK, DERYA KÖKSAL, DİDEM ERTEN, EDA İLDAM, ELİF KAHVECİ, ELİF SELENA AYHAN, ESRANUR YALÇIN, EYLÜL AZNEVİ, GAMZE COŞKUN IRMAK, GÜLGÜN ÖZEK, HANDE COŞKUNOĞLU, HANDE HASDEMİR, HANDE YAĞMUR, HARİKA İNANSAL, HATİCE KARATEPE, İPEK İNALBAY, JANA MOKLİSOVA, KAROLİN APİK, LAL HİTAY, MANOLYA ZEYTİN, MELİDA TÜZÜNOĞLU, MELİKE YÖRÜKOĞLU, MERVE ERDEMLİ, MERVE GEZER SUBAŞI, MİLENA RAYCHEVA, NESLİHAN TORAMAN, OYLUM AYTEMİZ, ÖMÜR İÇÖZ, ÖZGE GENÇ, ÖZGE YALÇIN, ÖZLEM ÜNSAL, PELİT DUMAN, PINAR DELİER, PINAR GÜZELGÜN , SELİN AKAR, SENA AÇIKOĞLU, SEVDA ARGUNER, TUĞBA ATASOY, TUĞBA AYAS, VİLDAN İLTER, YASEMİN ARSLAN, ZEYNEP ALBORA, ZEYNEP BERİK, ZEYNEP SOYLU