"Inside" is where the languages of the East and the West merge into a melting pot of confusion about who and where we are. We are in the building looking at her outside the building, she is outside looking at us inside. No, not like a statue of a beautiful girl because this is Live Art, in you face, putting you on the spot to figure out this conundrum.
Scary, eerie and with feelings of empathy for her out there on the ledge of the building while we visitors make ourselves comfortable in Gülhatun Yildirim's room and other rooms in this 28 day Performance Art event - Needed:You - 2018, give an impressive glimpse of Istanbull's vibrant Art world.
How do we prepare ourselves to enter Gülhatun Yildirim's "Inside". To gain full benefit we should look at earlier performance like "You are Half Water" where the question is asked; Am I the material or is it? "....the water in which I sleep and heal in, is also the place where my body becomes wrinkly from staying in it too long, where I practice my rituals, where I do my retakes and where I'm in direct contact with my body, doing something in patience and unconsciously." In the gallery and as Live Art, this piece is very confronting for the audience - seeing her face-up in a pool of water like Lord Tennyson's Lady of Shalott. Or, inside the transparent water balloon where she meditates like another species of human being, waiting to come alive.
This "other worldly" quality is also present in her most recent work. She has the performative skill to create a critical line between actor and audience. The visitor to her room looks through the window, at her, as if looking at a ghost. "...but this is Gülhatun's room and I have come from the outside into the building to see her but she is not in here so I am impelled to go outside the building to see her standing on the ledge looking in at her audience".
It is clear that Gülhatun Yildirim's "Inside" is about the politics of the gaze -remembering the massive amount of non-verbal communication which is possible with reciprocal eye contact. Essentially it is a window which connects, but also separates Gülhatun from her audience. A window is not like a screen where we can Skype-gaze each other - a window creates physical proximity between inside and outside. But the eye is our biologic window where we can communicate with each other, without words.