Blue Bird of Happiness, 2020

Performance / Installation consisting of two videos and a photograph

“In the performances I realized in various shopping malls in Istanbul that can be accessed from subway stations without leaving the underground, I sat in the lotus position next to ornamental pools, in a blue costume covering my entire body including my face. I could stay anonymous while easily being noticed because of the blue chroma key costume, which is normally used in the film industry to make the wearer invisible in front of a background of same color for an invisibility effect. By remaining silent and motionless among the crowd shopping, eating, and looking around, I aimed to interrupt the flow as well as to draw attention to the presence of other flows. Although my meditation is interfered by security guards from time to time, I observed the nature of my own mind in this artificial nature with lush palm trees, shimmering waterfalls that functions as a resting area for shoppers. Isolated from the environment with my blue costume and my limited vision and breath, I am transforming myself into a human shaped void where ‘shopping’ is removed from the ‘shopping mall’.” Şafak Çatalbaş

Video still


Installation view from the exhibition “Up above was fog, down below was a cloud of dust“, 2020, DEPO, Istanbul
Photo credit: Kayhan Kaygusuz

Blue Bird of Happiness | 2020 | Work