inside inside’ is a short high-intensity residency experience for a small group of  UK and Turkish artists and architects taking place at more than one location in Istanbul during the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial 2016.

It is intended to encourage critical reflection on, and development of, diverse artistic practice by linking themes of habit and habitation, maps, patterns and interior space, understood concurrently as psychological, architectural, domestic, and geographic.

Linking the themes closely together is the traditional Turkish figure of the ’meddah’ or storyteller, who uses simple props to re-tell the familiar or traditional whilst summarizing and elaborating on themes of the day, telling stories in a ‘show and tell’ fashion in front of an audience. The ’meddah’ forms the means by which the participants will loosen control of their own powers of representation into the hands of others to be ‘translated’ into a public context. The participants will be using specially designed journals to record aspects of their interactions as a form of meddah, and these will be available for public viewing near the end of the project, A symposium at Salon ISKV will  showcase presentations by some of the participants.

The city of Istanbul is a meeting place for very different traditions of privacy and display, ostentation and concealment. ‘inside inside’ proposes to problematise the status of display as a critical response to this location, and as a way for artistic practitioners to reconsider ‘making public’ as a factor in their work.

The residency therefore overturns the conventional status of exhibition as final endpoint and public outcome, using it instead as inward-facing moments of discussion between the artists  which is then narrated/translated in the manner of the meddah into a public outcome. The ‘concealment’ of the exhibition becomes a productive strategy as the residents work is re-told into another kind of show.

Anna Fairchild & Lucy Renton November 2015