Adaptation Banu Cennetoglu & Philippine Hoegen | Maria Fusco | Dominic Paterson | Sarah Tripp
13 October - 25 November 2012
Adaptation Banu Cennetoglu & Philippine Hoegen | Maria Fusco | Dominic Paterson | Sarah Tripp
Adaptation is a phased, year-long research project, initiated by Sarah Tripp with Collective. The project considers the effect that change can have on form and content – this is particularly pertinent at this time when Collective is in its own process of adaptation, preparing to move from its current site on Cockburn Street to a new site in the City Observatory on Calton Hill in 2013. The practitioners contributing to Adaptation all have a multi-stranded practice, and over the course of a year, all the practitioners have developed their chosen individual research projects. In 2006 artists Philippine Hoegen and BAS/ Banu Cenneto¤lu initiated Bent Books; a series of publications produced in collaboration with artists from Turkey. Among other projects, they have produced a series of facsimiles of original works by Masist Gül (1947-2003) a multi-faceted artist of Armenian descent, who was born and lived in Istanbul. For Adaptation Banu and Philippine have been considering another, incomplete 2
graphic novel by Gül and, during two public debates, they have opened their questioning out to consider the ethics of posthumous publishing, translating colloquial language and the production of pornographic material. The first discussion was held in April 2012 at Rongwrong, an artspace in Amsterdam, and included amongst others, art historian Sophie Berrebi, art critic Koen Kleijn and curator Manuel Klappe. The second, hosted by Collective, took place in May 2012 in Edinburgh and was chaired by writer Neil Cooper and included writer, publisher (Rebel Inc) and activist Kevin Williamson and Sarah Tripp. The audio track in this installation is a concise compilation of selected excerpts from both discussions. Writer Maria Fusco has worked from ten films featuring Canadian actor Donald Sutherland to write a new book of short stories and essays for her Adaptation project. These writings are speculative in nature, what might happen, or could have happened, or how Maria 'owns' Sutherland in character roles. Maria has created two poster works of her stories, the first *The Mechanical
Copula*, based on Federico Fellini's 1976 film Casanova in which Sutherland plays the title role was available in the gallery in May. The second available now, shows a new lyric essay titled *Start the Revolution Without Me: Notes on a Comic Face* based on the 1970 film of the same name. Dominic Paterson is a lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow, during Adaptation he has been considering the practice of art history and how this can be considered when thinking about his own history and memories. In his film work, Dominic layers together images from a slide library and the pseudo-domestic spaces of his university with three loosely related stories: His high school history teacher who also wrote ghost stories and led ghost tours; a professor of forensic medicine (a previous inhabitant of the university buildings) involved in some famous murder cases, who also tried (unsuccessfully) to adapt these into detective novels; and art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929). During Adaptation, artist Sarah Tripp has been researching three related interests: the limitations of spoken and written forms
of communication, the immersive experience of creative activities and the experience of being attuned with other people in the absence of words. Sarah’s starting point for Adaptation was the writings of the British child psychotherapist D. W. Winnicott and his concept of ‘transitional objects’ and ‘potential space’ and scientific and philosophical explanations for our tendency to mirror behaviour.
Cover image Dominic Paterson, Adaptation Study: Encylopedie Visuelle, digital image, 2012. 3
Do-ing* By Anna McLauchlan
We were dancing in the space downstairs. A man started moving around in front of me, he wanted to be noticed. As we were leaving he came over and said “I wanna do you”, he turned to the people I was with “I would do any of you, all of you”, turning to me he said “but I want to do you”. I started to think about the difference between doing ‘someone’ and doing ‘something’… What does ‘to do’ mean in relation to sex? How one-way is it? It didn’t seem (con) sensual. Once you’ve done someone once can you do them again? Did I want to be ‘done’ and why do I now want to let people know someone wanted to do me? Does articulating the desire ‘want to do’ make it more or less likely to happen? To give someone a do-ing — have sex with them / to beat them up To do someone — have sex with them / to cheat them / to kill them These instances of ‘do’, particularly the latter, have a violent finality: ‘done and dusted’. The word ‘do’ can often be used as clear affirmation, as in the phrase ‘I do’ during a marriage ceremony which is probably the most celebrated form of a performative utterance: “an utterance that accomplishes the act that it designates”.� As Austin identified, when I say ‘I do’, “I am not reporting on a marriage: I am indulging in it”.� Rules for what utterances are performative, or not, are difficult to determine. Austin
suggested� that the first person present indicative of verbs, ‘doing words’, makes a phrase performative. “It seemed initially that to identify performatives you might draw up a list of the “performative verbs”: verbs that in the first person of the present indicative (I promise, I order, I declare) perform the action they designate, while in other persons and tenses they behave differently and describe actions rather than perform them, as in: “I promised to come”; “You ordered him to stop”; ‘‘He will declare war if they continue’’. But Austin notes that you can’t define the performative by listing the verbs that behave in this way, because, for instance, the utterance “Stop it at once!” can constitute the act of ordering you to stop just as much as can “I order you to stop”.� Further analysis of language leads to the conclusion that all statements, if not explicitly performative, can be implicitly so. Therefore, the act of saying, and perhaps repeating, a word or phrase generates or contributes to a discourse structure – anything that is uttered or written then influences other things in the world. Influence occurs whether or not: the say-er means what was said; the receiver or listener clearly understands what the say-er ‘means’; or whether what is said is interpreted ‘correctly’, that is, in the way intended by the say-er. The act of saying echoes all the previous times something has been said. The act of saying is physical: anything said also contributes to a person’s bodily disposition.
Maria Fusco, Donald Sutherland in Start the Revolution Without Me, directed by Bud Yorkin, 1970.
But expressions and dispositions need not be attached to verbal expression and language, or they may be abstracted or adapted from language. Meaning is constructed, transmitted, received and interpreted through physical non-verbal communication in combination with verbal expression. Sarah Tripp’s film illustrates non-verbal or gestural forms of communication evident when participants are immersed in creative processes or preparing for some kind of creative expression. The film has writing on the screen, but these words make space for uncertainty or immersion rather than directing the meaning of what participants ‘did’.
marriage, you are not ‘do-ing someone’ but ‘doing something’. Unless you are somehow cheating the other party, for example by already being married, in which case they have ‘been done’.
The people in the film are ‘doing something’ which has been captured. Similarly, despite the close link to another individual, when you say ‘I do’, by participating in the act of
When something is done repeatedly it becomes a practice, whether or not the doer is conscious of the doing, or desires to practisce what is done. So nail biting or
However, unlike the marriage ceremony, which for most people happens once or twice at most, the people in Tripp’s film, because they are memorising lines for a performance, painting, playing the drums, etc., are likely to be doing this ‘something’ repeatedly. These actions although comprising part of a process of making, are not necessarily evident in the outcome, that is, as part of what is eventually made and presented.
stealing, if done repeatedly, are habitual practices that enable methods to be developed, in the same way as speaking, applying makeup, having sex or drawing. To do something — to perform or complete an action / to cause or produce something / to improve the current state of affairs Do something — a plea for help or assistance / a demonstration of frustration
Film actor Donald Sutherland is changed through his uncontrollable association with Maria Fusco. Fusco, rather than adapting a script into a film, drew inspiration from Sutherland’s starring role in Casanova to write *The Mechanical Copula*. This text, the first of ten, related to roles of the Canadian actor, does not operate alone — it can be referenced to an experience (however mediated) of a specific scene.
To do something repeatedly in a particular way enables the method of doing to become ingrained in the doer. The method of doing may produce something, for example, acting in a film contributes to the making of a film; writing can generate a text. These activities, these acts of doing repeatedly, also, through time, produce the doer’s bodily disposition: the person who acts a lot literally ‘becomes’ the actor.
Sutherland, as the infamous libertine Casanova, is the one who is often ‘do-ing someone’ or a number of people in the film. Rosalba’s (the mechanical copula of the narrative) cooperation in copulation is acknowledged and asserted via Fusco’s written speculation about what might, or could, have happened: Casanova is now do-ing but also now ‘done to’, both by Rosalba and Fusco.
To do is to be, to be is to do
Gül and Sutherland are not just film actors; a dominant ‘master status’� informs perceptions of their characteristics, in particular, their gender as male. “You become a man or a woman by repeated acts, which, like Austin’s performatives, depends on social conventions, habitual ways of doing something in a culture. Just as there are regular, socially established ways of promising, making a bet, giving orders, and getting married, so there are socially established ways of being a man or being a woman.”�
Another’s volition can bring someone into being. The stories that actor Masist Gül (1947–2003) wrote and illustrated have posthumously been published and exhibited by Philippine Hoegen and Banu Cennetoğlu. Hoegen & Cennetoglu, careful not to change Gül’s work, state they are not appropriating, and what they have done is make facsimiles. However, as discussions (recorded at the Excavate and be Damned? event, 12 May 2012), now audible within the exhibition, indicate – all reproduction or representation, perhaps unavoidably, is an adaption. What Hoegen & Cennetoğlu are becoming through the process of publishing Gül and his work differs from what Gül was as a result of do-ing the writing and drawing, and what Gül would have been had he released the work himself.
The work is translated from Turkish or Italian into English, but it is also from one form to another and one generation to another. The outcome (a collection of stories) is the same but the situation has altered. Despite their content, what comes from publishing (Hoegen & Cennetoğlu) and speculation (Fusco) does not recapitulate the macho heterosexual fantasy; rather it exposes how that fantasy has been constructed
Banu Cennetoğlu & Philippine Hoegen, still from the audio/video installation Excavate and be Damned?, 2012.
Doing generates the form of the world around us, including our physical form. Being a man or a woman, a film actor or a writer is not just what one is but what one does. However, as with Gül, people usually exist in a number of worlds�: the male film actor may also be an artist; the female writer may also be a fitness instructor. ‘Being something’ requires the audience to recognise the person is that thing. The recipient, and importantly other experts, must acknowledge that the way something is done reflects a suitable level of expertise: this enables the expert to practice ‘legitimately’. Expertise asserted but not delivered risks being identified as ‘phoney’�. Is the sequencing of methods learnt and practised, important to how the doer does? How does one practice inform the next? Dominic Paterson takes the practice of the art historian, but also his history and memories, into the container of this exhibition. Paterson’s film interweaves footage of images from a slide library and the pseudo-domestic spaces of his university with three loosely related stories: his high school history teacher who also wrote ghost stories and led ghost tours; a professor of forensic medicine (a previous inhabitant of the university buildings) involved in some famous murder cases, who also tried (unsuccessfully) to adapt these into detective novels; and Aby Warburg. Texts are used to frame and validate art. Warburg attempted, through the Mnemosyne Atlas, to reconfigure images from different eras and genres to make “art history without a text”. “Warburg conceived of the art historian as a ‘necromancer’ who conjures up the art of the past to give it an enigmatic new life.”� The Mnemosyne Atlas, “a ghost story for the fully grown up” reflects the history of art as a form of storytelling in darkened rooms.
In a practice, where something is done repeatedly and (usually) refined into skilled action, each time something is done it contains the phantoms of previous acts of doing. These phantoms direct and inform what Tripp, Paterson, Fusco, Hoegen & Cennetoğlu have done, but also radiate from the people involved or implicated within the material of their work. These muscular memories, the author’s own and those of something being ‘done to’, ghost this text.
* Acknowledgements: Information and comments provided by Sarah Tripp, Dominic Paterson, Maria Fusco, Philippine Hoegen & Banu Cennetoğlu were used to inform this text; comments from Darren Rhymes and Katherine McBride were also integrated into this version; Collective provided information about the Adaptation project. � Culler, J. (2000) Philosophy and Literature: The Fortunes of the Performative. Poetics Today, 21(3), 503 – 519. At p.503. � Austin, J. L. (1975) How to Do Things with Words. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. At p.6. � Ibid. � Culler, op. cit., p.505. � Hughes, E.C. (1971) Dilemmas and Contradictions of Status. In The Sociological Eye: Selected Papers. Aldine Publishing Co., Chicago. At pp.141 – 150., Discussed in Becker, H.S. (1986) Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. At pp.142 – 143. � Culler, op. cit., p.513. Following the extended discussion in Butler, J. (1993) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, London and New York. � Although, it is not clear that Gül existed as an artist prior to Hoegen & Cennetoğlu. � Sacks, H. (1992) Lecture 6 Greetings and introductions; Orientational utterances; Ultra rich infinite topics; Being ‘phoney’, In, Sacks, H. Lectures on Conversation. Volume II. Edited by Gail Jefferson with an introduction by Emanuel A. Schegloff. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge (Mass) and Oxford. At pp.79 – 80. � Michaud, P-A. (2004) Aby Warburg and the Image in Motion (trans. Hawkes, S.). Zone Books, New York. At p.261., cited in, Dillon, B. (2004) Books: Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas. Frieze, 80 (January – February). Available online: http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/collected_works/
Sarah Tripp, still from Shade Your Mind, detail, 16mm film, 2012.
Collective is committed to supporting new visual art through a programme of exhibitions, projects and commissions. Originally established as an artist run organisation in 1984, Collective is an international organisation for the production, research, presentation and distribution of contemporary art and culture with a specific focus on new visual art and practices. We aim to foster, support, and debate new work and practices in a way which is of mutual benefit to artists and audiences. See the future of visual art today.
Collective 22â€“28 Cockburn Street Edinburgh EH1 1NY t: +44 (0) 131 220 1260 w: www.collectivegallery.net e: email@example.com Sarah Tripp would like to thank the following people for appearing in Shade Your Mind: Sophia Cameron, Clinical Resource Manager at Glasgow University Ruth Barker, Performance Artist Fritz Welch, Artist and musician Hirofumi Suda, Artist Antonia Brecht, Bespoke Tailor and thank you to Rob Kennedy for editing. The research and develpment for this work was supported by: Cowgate Centre Francesca Calvocoressi Francis McKee
Information guide about Collective's exhibition Adaptation. With essay by Anna McLauchlan.