We had just been to the markets and purchased hundreds of tiny gold safety pins day before. We were sitting around a table discussing and planning the exhibition, there was always someone translating between Turkish and English. Then, someone began to assemble the safety pins into chains. At some point everyone, from the gallery assistant, to the artist who had the previous exhibition and was waiting for a truck to pick up his paintings, began doing the same action. 100s of safety pins were methodically attached into long chains. No one asked why, we all understood that regardless of the barriers that separated us it was possible to develop ways of communicating where language wasn’t necessary.
Many of the collaborators in this project had not worked together before but had been in contact, and helped build the Istanbul part of this project, via email. There were many challenges when we met in actual time and space. Breaking through differences in language, custom, and individual working styles seemed to be the most significant. Trusting the collaborative process was another. For many of us the processes involved in this hugely complex project were as important as the final exhibition. The video below is a collection of the processes we acknowledged as significant.