Silent Sky in Istanbul Modern

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On Thursday 22th of August the artist Rob Sweere told those present in the Istanbul Modern to lay down on the floor for 30 minutes and look in the sky. Talking, communicating, taking pictures was forbidden- also the mobile phones had to be switched off during the performance.

“Silent sky” is a performance/photograph project of the dutch artist Rob Sweere, where people lay on the ground and look in the sky for 30 minutes. The action in the garden of the Istanbul Modern was part of the “International Performance Art Festial (IPA)”, which goes under the slogan “Next step”, and takes place from 22-24 August 2013 in Istanbul.

The artists wanted the people to become calm and to focus on the deep blue sky and to image the stars, on the milky way and the universe.
The people should concentrate on the behind of the blue.

What seems to be so easy, is actually quite hard. Especially in a city like Istanbul- where you can´t escape the speed, the rush, the noise, the diversity and the daily impressions. Moreover in this metropolis, which changes daily in these globalized times and invents itself new everyday.

I actually was part of the project and layed on the ground. It was really hard to focus just on the sky. If a bird passed by- your thoughts followed that bird, if a plane crossed the air, your thoughts were distracted by that airplane- where is it going, where do the people in the plane come from, what is theire destination?
Lost in your thoughts the 30 minutes didn´t feel at all like half an hour. The silence made you forgot to think about time.
It was an interesting experience to just stop for 30 minutes, while the people passing by were continuing their lives.
Some people closed their eyes, some fall a sleep and started snoring, others were meditating.
The calm made you think about yourself. This deceleration felt good in these hectic times of real-time communication, political unrest and digitalisation of the society.

Nowadays it costs conscious effort to take the time to just look in the sky for 30 minutes- because it seems or the society makes us think, that there is always something more important to do or a place more important to be or someone more important to meet, that to take a time out just for yourself.

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