Indicating the binding power of treaties, the Latin phrase Pacta Sunt Servanda* (“Agreements must be kept”or “Contracts must be honored”) provides a discussion ground for the exhibition AH OH that aims to interrogate contemporary forms of social constructions such as promises, loyalty, faith, family, privacy, sexuality and morality. As an exhibition, AH OH brings together a selection of art works that deal with the politics of love, rituals of pleasure, crises of morality as well as the psychoanalytic dynamics of human existence. AH OHseeks to confront visitors with the impossibility of keeping promises, but also the indispensability of having them in our social and moral contracts. On a personal level, the exhibition asks the critical question: “When do we promise, and when do we break promises into pieces in order to reconstruct ourselves?”
A discussion (You should love Zeki Müren!) organized by and the organizers of the 18th Istanbul LGBT Pride Week as a part of this year’s program aspires to create a queer critical base for further questions and discussions related to the public and private channels of promises, transgressions and alternative forms of social morality.
*Guido Westerwelle, who serves as the German Foreign Minister for Chancellor Merkel’s cabinet visited Turkey in January 2010. During his visit Westerwelle promised Ahde Vefa, the Turkish translation ofPacta Sunt Servanda and, symbolically, the first ‘thing’ Westerwelle learned in Turkish. This political gesture was intended to demonstrate his ongoing support for Turkey’s candidacy for EU membership – a gesture that remains highly opportunistic – but also highlights the irony of his visit given.
is a Berlin/Istanbul based collaboration that works with the performative forms of critical curating and queer politics. The name comes from the Turkish letter “ğ” as yumuşak ge ’soft g’ – the ninth letter of the Turkish alphabet.