Isaac Chong Wai at Tarabya Cultural Academy, Istanbul (21/02/2021)

Isaac Chong Wai, fellow at the Tarabya Cultural Academy, presented the solo exhibition Leaderless at Bilsart in collaboration with Zilberman between January 6 and February 1, 2021.

"Leaderless" is an artistic political campaign that attempts to decentralize the representation of power on one individual and resists the violence of totalitarianism. By compiling and “rectifying” the gestures and postures that politicians perform to acquire power, Chong’s latest performance, “Rehearsal of the Futures: Leaderless,” (2020) envisions a future without a totalitarian leader and how it might impact spheres of collectivism, decentralization and altruism. By remodelling the mechanism of political campaigns and questioning the perception of the leaders’ bodies, the work rewrites the body by means of obscurity, reciprocity, and transnationality: Faces portraying power are blurred; speeches of leaders are uttered collectively; and the nation one identifies with is forgotten. Performing a leaderless world, the exhibition reconciles us with powerlessness—the unanswered demands, the ignorance from authority and the denial of individual freedom. In this context, individualism is re-discussed in a collective form: How does the homogenization of identity (a collective body) become a new shelter—a collective “leader”?

Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz