My practice is informed by my experience as a queer Turkish-Canadian woman. As an individual living between cultures, I inhabit a porous and unstable space—one that is characterized by the simultaneous negotiation of multiple perspectives. My work attempts to activate interstices; those spaces where differing cultural perspectives, narratives, and experiences meet. To approach an interstice is to be positioned on a precipice, where notions of stability are called into question, and the dissolution of what one perceives to be internally consistent is at risk. Exploring the mutable nature of the interstitial, and its capacity to shift entrenched perceptions, my work is constantly shifting forms. Combining sculpture, video, performance, text, painting, relational practices and installation, my work takes on a diverse range of approaches and mediums depending on the concepts driving the work.
For Luminous Bodies, I will create a series of embodied interventions/gestures that attempt to queer notions of land[scape]. Employing objects, gestures performed for video, field recordings and installation, Queering Land will attempt to suggest embodied experiences of queerness and their relationship to the Canadian land[scape]. Through strategic interventions in sites around the Toronto islands, in vistas synonymous with Canada and the Canadian experience, this work will attempt to articulate the complex manner in which diasporic queer experiences push against normative characterizations of Canadian experience, and its relationship to land. As an urban queer woman, and the descendant of Turkish immigrants, my relationship to the Canadian landscape has been largely symbolic. Mediated through images, and historical narratives, it is of mythic proportions, and at a great distance to my own lived experience. I am intent upon bridging this distance by employing my body directly in the interventions I craft; juxtaposing my queer, fat, Turkish, female, body against the land[scape], I am curious to see what will emerge. Additionally, I am interested in how working in the unique context of the Toronto Islands, with its history of colonization, urbanization and re-wilding, as well as its proximity to the city, creates unique opportunities for considering relationships between urban green space and notions of the wild, and how these play out on the body.
Recently, I have been exploring queering in relationship to Islamic aesthetics. Drawing upon Sara Ahmed’s conceptualization of queer phenomenology as characterized by experiences of disorientation, I have been critically engaging audio-visual tropes from Islamic aesthetics and culture to generate queer affects, experiences of disorientation, and detours in syntax, as means of communicating the embodied experiences of transcultural queerness. I see Queering land, as continuing this practice of queering, but in relationship to an engagement with land[scape].
Luminous Bodies offers me the unique opportunity to engage directly with the land[scape] of the Toronto islands in a context where collaboration, discourse, and experimentation are encourage. I plan to employ a variety of material approaches, including performance, sculpture/installation, poetry, video and field recording (to name a few) through which I propose to queer the land[scape], suggesting new ways to imagine our embodied relationship to land.
Alize Zorlutuna is a Turkish-Canadian, artist and writer who employs a diverse range of media in her practice. Working in sculpture, performance, audio and video, her work draws upon her experience as an individual living between two cultures. Negotiating multiple perspectives simultaneously, this embodied liminality informs her creative practice; manifesting in explorations of interstices. The desire to activate interstices where differing perspectives, emotions, and physical entities meet, and the meanings created in those meetings rests at the heart of her work.
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