Ahmet Ögüt: One Ordinary Happening

Ahmet Ögüt’s conceptual artistic practice often refers to Allan Kaprow’s work. In his projects, he collaborates with people and groups both within and outside of the art world, creating situations in which audiences must participate in order to experience them fully. An example of this is his The Silent University initiative, which was launched in 2012. This autonomous, nomadic “community of teachers and students” is organized for and run by refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.

In his approach to Kaprow’s Fluids, Ahmet Ögüt chose the theme of ice, the material used in the happening. He explores its transformation process – its physical and economic cycle. In this age of climate change, the image of melting ice has taken on a radical new meaning. With this in mind, Ögüt addresses how the basic material used in Kaprow’s happening continues to circulate after the happening is over.

The ice blocks used to create Fluids melted into 12,420 liters (roughly 3,281 gallons) of water. For his project, Ögüt is distributing the same amount of water in bottles with a label designed by himself. The bottles will be given away at different locations during the Berlin Art Week, among them SAVVY Contemporary, and are not only free artist editions, but also a call for us to enact our own version of One Ordinary Happening.

Allan Kaprow’s work Six Ordinary Happenings from 1969 consisted of brief instructions for small interventions that played with existing social structures and processes. In one of these Six Ordinary Happenings titled Charity, participants were instructed to buy used clothing in a thrift store, wash them at a laundromat, and then return them to the shop. Ahmet Ögüt’s One Ordinary Happening lets people create their own interventions in the life cycle of the material that was used in Fluids through their use of the water. Some of the artist’s suggestions are “Make bubbles, Cool yourself, Leave it on a street corner.”

Ahmet Ögütb. 1981 in Diyarbakir, lives and works in Amsterdam, Berlin and Istanbul