Supporting Act, 2016
Leith Docks, for Edinburgh Art Festival
Baha Görkem Yalim and Petter Yxell use the dramatic backdrop of the port of Leith to create a stage for unexpected things to happen. The site-specific outdoor installation engages with the role of being a sideshow, a structure that opens and supports a bigger event, playing the role of a hidden foundation.
Petter Yxell’s spatial structures responds to the unusual properties of the space, in particular the shipping containers present on the site as an emblem of a contemporary global urbanism and a peculiar example of a ‘non-place’. Part labyrinth and part sail, his sculptures set a rhythm for traversing the space through various focal points, re-tracing the panorama to create new forms of inhabitation.
Baha Görkem Yalim’s works punctuate this scene as they draw upon associations of sailing and waiting to build upon the sea’s history and embody the absence of the subject. Local plants are detached from the earth, gaining an observing nature, while a sound piece located inside the empty shipping container transports the listener to the middle of the ocean. The kites are an invitation to the audience to occupy a participating role in the exhibition; as objects they highlight the tension between active and passive, and inside and outside present throughout the exhibition.
Together, the artists rewrite a forgotten myth without the interference of a hero or heroine. As we encounter architectural skeletons, potted plants and background noises, the installation lets that which is usually nothing more than a supporting structure to the ‘real thing’ take centre stage.
supported by Goldsmiths Annual Fund, Mondriaan Fund and Hope Scott Trust