Blue Bird of Happiness, 2020

Performance / Installation consisting of two videos and a photograph

Blue Bird of Happiness is a series of performances I carried out in various shopping malls in Istanbul that can be accessed from subway stations without leaving the underground. There I sat in the lotus position next to ornamental pools where people give a break from shopping, my entire body covered in a blue suit, including my face. I could stay anonymous while easily being noticed because of the blue chroma key suit, which is normally used in the film industry to make the wearer invisible in front of a background of same color. By remaining silent and motionless among the crowd busy with shopping, eating, and looking around, I aimed to interrupt their flow as well as to draw attention to the presence of other flows. Although my meditation was interfered by security guards from time to time, I observed the nature of my own mind in these shoppers’ resting areas that imitate nature with their lush palm trees and shimmering waterfalls. With the help of my blue suit and my limited vision and breath, I was isolated from these environments designed to maximize consumption. This way, I transformed myself into a human shaped void where ‘shopping’ was 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