YALA AMA YUTMA (Lick But Don't Swallow!) by Özen Yula tells about the dream of a porn star to save herself and the world. The play handles the painful realities of our own time via the heroine, whereas it reveals a dramatic critic of the feeling of emptiness created in contemporary society. The project created and performed by the collaboration of biriken collective with the actress Ayça Damgacı is an examination of non-hierarchical co-existence of video, text and performer where the actors goes back and forth between "performer" and "character".
The play is on one side wandering through today's painful realities through our heroine Leyla; on the other hand, it chooses a platform where it cancels out everything it tells about, denies the reality surrounding us, and where the only reality is hedonism. As such, porn offers a world without any problems, where all the problems can be solved with pleasure. Trying to install the world problems into that construct is to make both aspects nonfunctional, to empty out both pain and pleasure. This "emptiness" is the only truth for us that we can feel.
This reality, while effecting the political and social developments, sneaks into our lives, our rooms, even into our TV and computer screens. It defines our lives. In YALA AMA YUTMA (Lick But Don’t Swallow!) we hear about the desperate situation of the world that is described by the statistics and is transmitted to millions of people by the news bulletins updated any moment. Leyla passes this on to us in a place where she was not supposed to be and in a way that is far from the "political correctness" which may in fact be an art of lying.
text: Özen Yula (TR)
performers: Ayça Damgacı (TR), Hakan Ummak (TR), Koray Kadirağa (TR), Kerem Can Dum (TR), Alican Yücesoy (TR), Melis Tezkan (TR), Okan Urun (TR)
light design: Metin Çelebi (TR)
camera: Cenk Örtülü (TR)
project assistant: Ferdi Çetin (TR)
Premiere: October 18, 2010 at iDANS festival
Sep 24 - Sep 25, 2012, De Internationale Keuze, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, Holland.
Apr 7, 2012, Perform 2012 Platform, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Jan 4 - Jan 15, 2012, Under The Radar Festival, La MAMA Theater, New York, USA.
May 4, 2011, Heidelberger Stückemarket’11, Theater und Orchester Heidelberg, Germany.
biriken is an art collective founded in 2006 by Okan Urun and Melis Tezkan. Working at the intersection of performance art, video and theater practice, we collaborate in a symbiotic way, no matter what medium we choose.
Melis Tezkan was born in 1982 in Istanbul and lives in Paris and Istanbul. She completed her secondary and high-school education at the Galatasaray High School; and also focused on theatre and dance during her studies. She completed the Visual Comminication Department at the Nice Sophia University in France. She completed her MA degree in Paris at the Cultural Management Department (the Sorbonne Nouvelle University). She completed her PhD in 2012 on the aesthetics and technologies of art at the same university; her thesis will be published in automn 2013 by Editions L'Harmattan. In Paris she worked as assistant in video and commercial production. She taught different disciplines at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University. Apart from biriken, she has collaborated with Nil Yalter; together they produced the "Untitled" performance (2009, Temps d’Images, garajistanbul).
Okan Urun was born in Istanbul in 1983. He completed his undergraduate and master of art degrees on theatre at Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle University between the years 2001-2007. At the same time, he continued his education on acting at the Paris Hector Berlioz Municipality Conservatory. He gives lectures at Maltepe University since 2008. He also translates texts of theatrical plays and he is the coordinator of “New Text New Theater”, international project of the Turkish interdisciplinary company VDST supporting the creation and the circulation of new dramatic writings. Apart from biriken, direction credits include: Rodrigo Garcia's AGAMEMNON (play reading at Pera Museum), Rémi De Vos' LAISSE MOI TE DIRE UNE CHOSE (play reading at the French Institute-Istanbul).