Atlas, Ekin Bernay, 2021
In collaboration with Performistanbul
As part of V&A Friday Late
Wearable technology and Visual Effects: Abi Sheng
Gown by: Florence King
Original Composition: Anna Lann
Marble Production: Sirmersan & Design Elements Co.
Installation Design: Joseph Bond Studio
Hair Pins 3D Design: Ultra Mega Omega Ltd
Photography Documentation: Burcin Ergunt
Film: Jerome Monnot, Sibling Studios
“While you live, shine
Have no fear at all
Life exists only for a short while
And time demands its due”
The idea of performance comes from Ekin Bernay‘s quest for a sense of truth, focusing on her spine, which she describes as “the axis of my reality, from which all my experience on Earth is created, where the neurons transmit meaningful signals to command every moment of the simulation called life.”
The legend of Titan, Atlas, who was condemned to carry the skies on his shoulders, also gives his name to the C1 vertebra, which connects our skull to our spine. Bernay believes this bone is a reflection of human experience in the world. The artist goes deeper by borrowing ideas from forest wisdom and sufism while approaching the performance in four parts: “I am born, I walk the path, I reach my eternal rest and I transcend”.
The artist looks at the weight that we carry as human beings from both a physical and an emotional perspective and deconstructs the human body in the hope of getting closer to her essence. She takes the steps of the performance based on the question
“What can I offer to the world more than my own experience of reality?”.
“I look into the mirror and face impermanence.
All I can give is my life in its honesty.
It is lonely to live, yet full of love.
This is me now, in progress, searching.”
The performance will be actualised as part of V&A Friday Late with the collaboration of V&A Museum and Performistanbul, with the sponsorship of Sirmersan & Design Elements Co. and the support of Omer Burhanoglu and Irem Erim.
With special thanks to: Naz Balkaya, Melike Bayik, Ayda Bayram, Ferit Bernay, Simge Burhanoglu, Omer Burhanoglu, Banu Carmikli, Burcin Ergunt, Irem Erim, Burcu Ezer, Emin Hitay, Azra Ismen, Yamina Iyara, Dimitris Karagiannakis, Aylin Rana Kip, Goze Kocalmis, Ji Linfang, LEONN Meade, Jerome Monnot, Georgia Palmer, Joel Palmer, Fulya Sade, Sera Sade, Seikilos, Ali Sirkeci, Agah Ugur, Li Wejing, Simin Zhao.