COVID-19In Our Time

İlayda Tunca: The Most Probable Mistake is Probably Going Back

We are in a week that total number of coronavirus cases worldwide has risen above 4 million and the world fears second wave of infections.

Istanbul and Çanakkale based artist and founder and coordinator of sub initiative İlayda Tunca joined conversation on the effect of COVID-19 at my three question investigation.

How are you affected?

I think that this process brought us a serious insight on how our lives are depending on other things.

First the numbers have been followed, then came the process of recognition of the virus. It feels good to slowly get to know better.

At first when I was caught by the fear wave, some internal feuds as “am I corona, am I not, no I am not, nope not, could I be, seriously, ok, maybe I can and I can get over with it,” were good motivations to update some of my behavior. Yet I still have no clue if I had had the virus or not.

“Act as if you are sick,” suggestion was important I believe. I started to see people less not to harm them as well as not getting closer to them and not touching them. I could observe my behavior changing in the crowds, we somehow gained ground. There were also moments, on the other hand, that we remembered how nice it was to hug and kiss and pass the grounds over. We can say that we even developed some techniques. (As the mother throwing a sheet on her daughter to hug her.)

I have to confess the first two weeks when I was alone with myself was the best.

The silence is beautiful. We were saying. How noisy the flow of life. On the last couple of days, already people are talking about getting back to the “old”. I think it is the most probable mistake is probably to go back to old or the period that is called normal.

How will the art world be affected in short and long term?

We were passing through a period of time when the old was dead but the new could not be born. A time of strain. And I believe, in one moment, we have witnessed stepping into a new age. We are right at the moment an in a discontinous shock. In a way I think there has been a resignation to the cyber world. I cannot help bu think “Can we move without fully resigning to this high speed environment?” On the other hand, I cannot ignore the possibilities this environment has. I think we will be thinking about the new regulations in the process to come.

First conceived in 1919, L.H.O.O.Q. is an artwordk by Marcel Duchamp. Visual: Marcel Duchamp ve Francis Picabia - (PDF), PD-US.

In high school, when I saw L.H.O.O.Q. by Duchamp in an art history text book published by the Ministry of Education, to put it simply, I was thrilled. A five centimetres (really small) visual changed my look into the social chaos.

To me, chaos is not only an urge to create but also “not knowing” is  is a wonderful source of imagination [Marianne*]. We call exactly this amongst us the “horizon of exhaustion”. We heard if from Bifo:Virus Mythologies)].

What do you hope to change?

The pandemic was like a manifest of chance at the door that has been waiting for so long. We have been complaining on writing and talking about how the current system cannot maintain itself. But now we are at a point that we cannot ignore the direct effect on life itself and in this point, even if we stand on the same point, it is moving. I hope to come up with genuine meanings about how we will participate in this process.

Also, beyond waiting with vaccination, I hope to be matching with the virus and to be able to live together, without handing my private life at the cost of my bodily health to any authorities.

* Marianne Villiere

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