Lecture SETTLING IN PRECARITY by Burak Delier

Lecture SETTLING IN PRECARITY by Burak Delier

September 19, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm

Many thanks to the artist Burak Delier for his lecture SETTLING IN PRECARITY – Reflections on Parrhesia and Precarity via Kültürhane and Barmagazine and discussing the works of our participants within the Studio Program at BAI | Berlin Artist Residency, Art School & Arts Incubator.

“In the summer and autumn of 2015, the petition named We Will Not Be a Party to This Crime was signed by 1,128 academics in order to call an end to the curfews, human rights violations and violence in the southeast of Turkey, and to return to peace talks. The academics were accused of ‘terrorist propaganda’ by the government and the state. The contracts of many were not extended, their duties were immediately terminated, and investigations were opened.

As a journalist close to the government said, people who were dismissed by decrees, whose passports were confiscated, who were not allowed to work in the public or private sector in some cases, who were excluded from their families and personal circles, who had to change cities and sometimes to emigrate were tried in order to be turned into the ‘civil dead’.

All these evoke two concepts that have been widely discussed in the fields of social sciences and contemporary art in recent years: precarity and parrhesia. The reading of the struggle of the Academics for Peace, through these two concepts provides us with a fruitful ground from which to imagine other forms of life (and art) based on subject-truth relations other than the modes of life imposed by a particular administration of precarity. In the lecture, I will associate precarity with the power to speak the truth (thus, emancipation) against the dominant discourse that understands it as a catastrophe that must be dispelled through security policy.

Further, expounding on two case studies which one is an art work, I will examine the avant-garde debate which expresses the aspiration of making art and life overlap, through a short section in which Michel Foucault touches on the problematic of the ‘Aesthetics of Existence’. I believe that the argumentation here will open up the discussion that is nowadays referred to as ‘activist art’, ‘socially engaged art’ or ‘useful art’, but which mainly refers to the avant-garde.” (Text by courtesy of Burak Delier)

Burak Delier (b. 1977, Adapazarı) studied in the Fine Arts Faculty of Marmara University and the Faculty of Art and Design at Yıldız Technical University (receiving an M.A. and Proficiency in Art). Currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Sakarya University, Delier’s essays discussing the relationship between art and politics were published by Koç University Press under the title Scenarios of the Art World (2016). Producing in multiple formats, the artist carries out collective projects such as Barmagazine: The Magazine That Thinks It’s a Bar (in collaboration with Eylem Akçay, Emre Tansu Keten and Taylan Kesanbilici, 2018) along with his solo exhibitions such as ‘Free Society of Fools and Crooks’ (Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, 2016), ‘Play Your Part and The Script Will Follow’ (Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, 2013), ‘Freedom Has No Script’ (Iniva, London, 2014) and ‘The Collector’s Wish’ (Pilot Gallery, Istanbul, 2012). Among the group exhibitions he has participated in, it is possible to mention: ‘Istanbul. Passion, Joy, Fury’ (MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2015), ‘Artists’ Film International’, (Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, 2015 and Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2014), ‘Unrest of Form’ (Vienna, 2013), the 2010 and 2008 Taipei Biennials, ‘When Ideas Become Crime’ (Depo, Istanbul, 2010), the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), ‘Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible!’ (İstanbul, 2007). Interested in rendering visible the relationships between capitalism and contemporary art practices in his collective and individual work, Delier turns life itself into an object of study by creating absurd intersections using guerrilla tactics and strategies borrowed from everyday life. Furthering his studies with an approach that problematizes both himself and art, the artist seeks to create breathing spaces beyond existing relations of production and power, as alternatives to the dominant living culture, which is one that narrows life to the point of suffocation.

Burak Delier is a 2019 to 2020 fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-Program. More information on the Burak Delier Website.