Actually, That's Not The Case

Mario Rizzi

Salt Beyoğlu

September 11, 2011 17.00

The theater performance Kazın Ayağı Öyle Değil [Actually, that’s not the case], premiering at SALT Beyoğlu, is written and performed for the production of the video work Kazın Ayağı [The Goose’s Foot]. The final work is a two-channel video installation that presents the editing of the Istanbul performances in September 2011, and the process of thinking and production behind the work.

The screenplay is structured around a new Karagöz shadow theater script, which draws on different performative languages. The original script was adapted to the conventions of a traditional Karagöz play, working closely with master puppeteer, Emin Şenyer. It is inspired by the histories and memories of displaced people living in specific İstanbul neighborhoods that are experiencing top-down urban transformation - namely, Ayvansaray, Balat, Fener and Tarlabaşı.

The choice of creating a play based on Karagöz shadow theater came from an interest in the conflictual dynamics and the equilibrated coexistence between the two main characters of this genre, as well as the illusionary aspect of working with puppets. Karagöz and Hacivat approach the world with completely different views, which allows the content of Kazın Ayağı Öyle Değil [Actually, that’s not the case] to elaborate on notions of power, authority and submission, based on the humorous possibilities of rudimentary situations, characters and costumes.

More than thirty puppets - made of camel or calf leather and natural dyes - and a stage made of wood, metal and fabric - were handmade by Emin Şenyer from original drawings inspired by the content of the play. Four screens were also designed and crafted using embroidery and leather.

The translations from English and Turkish were made by İz Öztat. Together with the puppeteer Emin Şenyer and his son Mehmet Emir, the actresses Yasemin Karadağ and Hatice Eren, Hip Hop artist Yener Çevik and bağlama musician Ümit Uçar perform throughout the play. Sound design is by Selçuk Artut and camera by Mario Rizzi and Üzeyir Yanar. The postproduction will be finalized by Mario Rizzi in Berlin.

The performance will be held in Turkish.