Project by Emirhan Akin
“Cleaners are invisible (also in valuative terms) and the final product of their work needs to be invisible, too. After a cleaning day, I share my invisibility with the waste of the creative minds, either in trash bins or in toilets. “The distasteful needs to be removed behind the scenes of social life,” writes Norbert Elias in The Civilizing Process. As once-called uncivilised, I would like to start to unfold the obscure structural dynamics within the European context to gain deeper understanding of the societal, economic, and political interactions behind the scene of this (my) immigrant work.”
By rethinking the notions of working, exhaustion, and the slash between the precariat/artist, Emirhan aims to unearth the embodied knowledge he has stored from the cleaning job he has been working for to sustain his art practice, to draw parallels between the durational performance pieces (eventually performance art) and the word cleaning (and it’s political, historical and societal connotations). To dissect this immigrant work (and it’s economy of exhaustion which is accumulated in the muscle memory) he plans to focus on the invisibility (of both the cleaner and the end product) as in material and medium (he plans to use). Therefore, (not fixed/could potentially change) he is interested in working with sound whether it’s field recording of the non-spaces (areas that are overlooked, neglected, transitional in nature or might not be designed for human interaction) or a transcription of a conversation during an encounter (with human and non-human).
By researching the architectural approach to the non-spaces of the city (and the residency-space) he aims to intervene those undefined-areas with these sonic experiments.
Anthropologist Mary Douglas’ argued in her book Purity and Danger (published in 1960), dirt as a ‘matter out of place’ came to be seen as repellent not because of its inherent foulness but because its existence could not be reconciled with the patterns and assumptions undergirding the existing social order. As artist delves into his research on ‘cleaning’ he considers these perpetual ouroboros of immigration patterns inevitable to go unseen. To be able to access the archival knowledge of the past (and present) immigration policies, he plans to visit any possible institutions (with archive) within the town of Hollabrunn.