Performance reveals Istanbul's silence and noise
Artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck turns the Netherlands consulate located on İstiklal street into a stage hosting her monument to silence for the Istanbul participator to experience. The performance will take place every Friday at the Consulate’s garden.Istanbul’s art gallery aims to discover a new approach in terms of perfromance art. NON-Stage will be presenting a performance by Sarah van Sonsbeeck turns the Netherlands consulate garden into a stage hosting her monument to silence for the Istanbul participator to experience. The garden at the Netherlands Consulate General has been deemed the quietest place in Istanbul by artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck and will, every Friday, be the setting for her latest performance art.
Sonsbeeck’s work, Municipality of Silence, is a performance art piece that recreates the atmosphere she felt at what she defines as “the quietest place in Holland.” The work involves Sonsbeeck placing an exact replica of a bench she found at the quietest place in Holland at what she feels is the quietest place in Istanbul, the consulate’s garden. Sonsbeeck also measures the area’s surrounding silence with a decibel meter and uses a Dutch government map to trace silence in Holland.
The concept of Municipality of Silence evolved from Sonsbeeck’s first project as an artist, titled Letter To My Neighbors, where, in 2006 she wrote a letter to her noisy neighbors in Amsterdam demanding they pay 80 percent of her rent.
Noise levels of streets
Sonsbeeck’s letter claimed that her neighbors occupied 80 percent of her apartment with their noise and should thus pay their share of the rent. During this time Sonsbeeck, a former architect, realized the shortcomings of architectural design, specifically its neglect of immaterial factors and effects like sound when planning buildings. She subsequently decided to become an artist and dedicate her career to exploring, measuring, mapping and designing silence.
In a particularly noisy neighborhood of Istanbul, Sonsbeeck removes territorial boundaries to enable access to an otherwise
exclusive environment devoid of excess sound.
The restricted nature of this specific location is the very reason for its calm, which in turn brings forth the inverse relation between silence and men. As a second part of the project Sonsbeeck will measure different noise levels on İstiklal as well as the surrounding areas to create a neighborhood map of silence or one that shows the lack of silence present in the city. The map will visualize the tension between noise and silence.