“GuGuOu” Exhibition catalogue, Corridor Project Space, Amsterdam (March-April, 2019)
The Istanbul-based collective, ha za vu zu, crafted their artistic mode of expression through situational aesthetics and performative gesture, often incorporating music among many elements. The collective has since spawned another grouping, GuGuOu, where music plays the lead role. This new collective was formed by three members: Gunes Terkol on keyboard and on vocals, Guclu Oztekin on bass guitar and vocals, Oguz Erdin on acoustic/electronic drums and sound processing, who have been collaborating for the last four years.
GuGuOu shares the 1960s aesthetics of ha za vu zu. However, whereas ha za vu zu applied the aesthetics of Fluxus happenings and constructed situations of SI (Situational International), GuGuOu draws on the forms, techniques and the strategies of experimental pop music. Their work is therefore characterized by a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and experimenting with, or stretching the popular forms, as well as processed sounds, low technology, electro acoustics, repetition, highly rhythmic music accompanied by short and simple idiosyncratic vocalism. They utilize electronic tools to manipulate sound and vocals. And while the lyrics derive from every day encounters, meticulously rehearsed music performances are born from collective improvisations.
The post-modern concept of artists utilizing the medium which best serves their purpose regardless of how qualified/unqualified they are is at the heart of the practice of GuGuOu since none of the members are trained musicians. The artists expressed themselves across a huge array of different mediums as ha za vu zu and the interdisciplinary nature of their practice is easily extended to GuGuOu performances. A key feature of these involves sharing the stage with musicians, artists and philosophers with whom they forge convivial relations. For Corridor Art Space, GuGuOu will be performing With Their Hearts, People Walk, a-two legged event. In the first part, the artists will be collaborating with local participants to create various banners, which will then be transported to the exhibition space as part of the stage decoration. However, rather than focusing purely on the end-result, their aim is to integrate the potential energies that arise during the process and give emphasis to the outcome of this process. The second part of the project, a twenty-minute performance by GuGuOu, will be followed by an open mic with local musicians. After the performance, the stage set will stay as it is for two weeks and serve as a backdrop for gigs by local musicians wishing to use it. All in all, the music performances and collaborative situations that are constructed by GuGuOu respond to the need to enliven art spaces with energy and connection both in Istanbul and elsewhere.