Performance by Ata Doğruel | Odunpazarı Modern Museum

Ata Doğruel is a performance artist based in Istanbul. He aims to push his physical and mental boundaries with long durational performances, by focusing on the concepts such as abstracting and endurance. He graduaded from Media and Visual Arts in Koç University, where he had initially had begun studying Law. Among his previous works, the artist has realized performances such as 9 days of hunger and 13 days of silence; with the intention of bringing up new questions, in the course of exploring himself, the nature and the universe. Doğruel, uses the performance art as a tool to pursue his search for significance.

'Light Source' is the first performance of the '40' series, composed of different, continuous, 40-day performances to be undertaken by Ata Doğruel until the end of 2031, when the artist turns 40. The artist will photograph each visitor who brings a candle and will hang them on the wall to document the experience. This will allow the visitors to participate in the performance and engage with the performer as they will be “the sight” of the artist with the candles they bring.

'Light Source' also offers a performative interpretation of people's need for each other. In the 40-day period, within the liminal space of art and life, Dogruel will offer a window to observe social life; communication and connection as well as the physical, spiritual and mental boundaries and shifts involving the participants in a domain where the artist/audience distinction blur.

The performance is born out of the thought that “we are each other’s light", which the artist repeated in his mind during the three-year period in which he lived in isolation, pre-pandemic. ‘40’ takes its name from references to the ancient history of the number 40 in various eastern and western cultures, as well as being a ceremonial welcome of the artist turning 40. With an emphasis on the mystical nature of 40, the series reconstructs the story of the number 40 within the scope of the discipline of performance art.

Recognised by his performances that pushes his physical and mental limits, focusing on concepts such as isolation and endurance, Doğruel commented  “The whole world has experienced the isolation that I have lived in for 3 years due to the pandemic. People who were suddenly isolated began to see the need for social relations as the process progressed.”

He explains his perspective on performance art as "My life between performances is just waiting for the next performance and getting ready for it, my main world, my life is the times I perform”. The artist stayed in a room that is not exposed to the sun for 6 weeks and tried to understand the phases of the day, time and night - by changing the concept of daytime, he is preparing to create a rare work in the history of performance art.

The longest non-stop performance hosted by a museum in Turkey, 'Light Source' can be experienced at OMM 24/7 for 40 days / 960 hours, including nights and Mondays, between 7 November - 17 December 2022.

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17th November, 2022 Performance Art