Fake Reality/Sahte Gerçeklik
  • fake Reality/Sahte Gerçeklik

     “Fake Reality/Sahte Gerceklik 2”

    5. 16 minutes video

    10 A5 framed photographs and 4 A2 framed emails

    2011

     

    In February of 2010 in the exhibition, “Out of Context” at Pi Artworks, as an artwork I presented a cake made in the pastry shop, Happy Caking, located in Anadolu Hisar. This wedding cake, a beautiful decorative object requiring a high level of skill to create, was made from Styrofoam. Totally uneatable except for one small slice of ‘real’ cake inserted on one side for the bride and groom to use as part of a ritualistic performance in Turkish wedding ceremonies, in my opinion, this representational object has become a symbol and example of contemporary “society’s real unreality” (p. 13) as described and predicted by Guy Debord in his 1968 book, The Society of the Spectacle.[1]  In the contemporary urban city we can see that, “The spectacle is the acme of ideology, for in its full flower it exposes and manifests the essence of all ideological systems: the impoverishment, enslavement, and negation of real life.” (p. 151) Just like in the showy weddings, grandiose art events refer to art of the past with remnants of past cultural phenomena appearing and disappearing as contemporary urban inhabitants, more robot than human, move through staged rituals without really experiencing anything, failing to communicate, failing to form relationships. No doubt, without dialogue, without social interaction, without awareness, without community, the spectacle will remain master.

     

    Initially I simply exhibited an object on a pedestal. By changing its function and removing it from its normal context, I hoped to stimulate speculation and further dialogue, but this was only the first phase of this project that aimed to investigate social phenomena, emphasize process and interaction while creating a situation for dialogue, social contact, and exchange.

     

    Starting in a local carpenter shop with the cutting of the Styrofoam that was later transported to the pastry shop, I spent two weeks videoing the creation of my commissioned wedding cake. When the cake was finished, it was transported to Pi Artworks to be shown as an art object, a type of pseudo-sculpture on a pedestal.  After the exhibition finished on March 20, 2010, the cake was returned to Happy Caking where it remained on display and was used for one wedding at a local restaurant in May of 2010.  Early in June, Happy Cake added another layer and sold the cake to Istanbul municipality at Hidiv Kasri to be used in their summer wedding ceremonies. 


    My intention had been to follow the life of my cake as it traveled from the pastry shop, to the gallery, to the pastry shop, and to various weddings across the city. The first wedding took place at a small restaurant near the pastry shop.  The wedding couple allowed me to photograph the cake as it was entering the restaurant, but not the ceremony.  After the cake was sold to Hidiv Kasri, I obtained an appointment with the manager of Hidiv Kasri wedding organization and presented my project.  After hours of discussion and numerous emails, I was sent by email three photographs from one wedding.  I was not allowed to see the cake.  I was not allowed to attend the weddings during the summer.  I was not allowed to take photographs. I was not allowed to speak with the photographer. When official routes failed, I tried to obtain access to the cake by having a friend pretend to be planning a wedding, but I was only able to obtain photographs from one wedding. For this exhibition, “How do we know we are not impostors?” I am exhibiting the video of the making of the cake with the documentation of the cake’s journey after being shown as an art object. 

     

    *Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Zone Books, New York, 1995.



    [1] Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Zone Books, New York, 1995.