Michael Day & Ipek Yeginsu
Bloc Assembly 10
"For our 10th Assembly event, four Sheffield based artists have each been paired up with an artist in Istanbul. Plunged into the unknown within a pen-pal type relationship, the expectation has been to create work with someone they have never met. This work will be dependant upon the success or failure of the artistic dialogue, and while the emphasis is not on an outcome as such, the struggle to make something, will inevitably drive each encounter. Difference is the key. Within these restrictions, methods, thresholds and standards within an art making practice will be explored as well as the possibilities and impossibilities of coming together." - Bloc Projects
Michael Day and Ipek Yeginsu approached their correspondence by looking for areas of similarity that weren’t dependent on locality to gain their meaning. Comparing themselves as artists rather than just the cities they worked in, they began to look at personal taste and musical experiences as means of locating common ground. Popular music is a globalised business, but it is also a tool in the formation of identity, and it forms the backdrop and the counterpoint for many pivotal life experiences, including the development of artistic sensibilities.
The connection between individual creative activity and mass culture is central to the role of artists in a globalised art world whose economic powerhouses are not at the periphery. The artists’ familiarity with the iconic pop musician Michael Jackson formed the basis for an exploration of this connection. Moments from a classic Jackson video are recontextualised by removing the main protagonist from the narrative, leaving only fragmentary glimpses of supporting characters soundtracked by an accidental recording of a walk through Istanbul. A counterpoint to the high production values of a superstar pop video is provided by a cover version of the same Jackson track, recorded by the artists, and presented on audiocassette. These works reveal something about how Day and Yeginsu relate to globalised mass culture, while retaining a sense of the home-made, the amateurish, and the personal.