caner teker

caner teker © Neven Allgeier

Performance artist caner teker answers our questionnaire. »Translating, Transforming, Transfiguring . . .«

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, together with Ewa, Billy, Studio Labour, Lou and Sofie amongst others we’re working on the death of the wedding called „karadeniz“, a performance that will premier in September at tanzhaus nrw and at HAU Hebbel am Ufer during Berlin Art Week 2021. We will transform into an age of post-identity politics towards dissolving representations on stage by criticizing the institution of marriage—while being queer, anti-capitalist, intersectional, transformative, accountable and parasitic.

Who or what has influenced you in your work?
SNDO—School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam has shaped my works for the last two years. With its focus on creating a space of learning and unlearning in discourses of queer theory, postcolonial studies and choreographing bodies, SNDO has become a platform for me to re-work my approaches in my own artistic research. I’m so grateful for this experience. It taught me how to work in the threshold between theory and movement practice.

Which artwork do you return to again and again?
It is the work of kins that I’m fascinated about—my friends who have worked in strip clubs, in nightlife, in organizing demonstrations during the pandemic . . . Joy Mariama Smith’s research on darkness and Black Joy was very intriguing as well as Lou Drago’s lecture on ›Radical Sociability‹ or Mia’s text on intimacy during the pandemic. Göksu Kunak’s performance ›AN(A)KARA‹ fragmentizes Orientalism in new queer aesthetics. The people I work with are usually people I share queer kinship with—and these are the ›artworks‹ I return to. The artworks placed in institutions will never provide me an equivalent space for access.

What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
Working in night life awareness shifts. I’m guessing becoming a stripper would be a dream coming true. A dream I gave up on was becoming an MMA warrior.

What are you reading at the moment?
Reading has been a practice framing my work for a long time, now and forever. I’m reading ›Emergent Strategy‹ by adrienne maree brown, ›Transgender History‹ by Susan Stryker and ›Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire‹. All these books give an insight of »the movement across a socially imposed boundary away from an unchosen starting place« (Susan Stryker in ›Transgender History‹).

What should art today be able to do, in your opinion?
It should be Translating, Transforming, Transfiguring, Transmuting, Transposing, Transubstantiating, Recasting, Redefining, Redesigning, Reengineering, Refashioning, Regenerating, Remaking, Remodeling, Revamping, Revising, Reworking.

What aspect of the pre-pandemic world do you grieve—and what things do you not miss at all?
The spaces of queer communities that were of one’s own.

If you had to sum up your work in one word, what would it be?
›Trans‹ as in ›to go beyond, across, beyond, queer‹.

Do you have a daily ritual?
Meditation helps me a lot to achieve a sense of clarity and sensitivity. When working in the studio, I write a lot. I find mind-mapping extremely helpful to discover links that are not running linear and that create wild connections. Reading is an important part of my practice, I really don’t know how many books I bought this year but I try taking one hour a day for reading. Another daily practice that amplified through attending Joy Mariama Smith’s workshop on consent at Color Block at Ponderosa was processing guilt, harm and shame. I’ve harmed, and I’ve been harmed.

What art or culture-related events do you look forward to in the near future?

caner teker. karadeniz
17—19 SEP, 7—9pm