Poems From Descriptive Noise
Berkay Tuncay manipulates words like found objects. From Poems from Relaxation Videos (2018) to Poems from Instant Messaging (2020), he sifts through, classifies, and recomposes social media and digital communication to create new significations. His latest work, Poems from Descriptive Noise (2022), extracts lines of text used to describe the background sounds of a movie or television series in closed captioning mode. [DOOR OPENS] [BREATHING HEAVILY] [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC]: when placed side by side, these words give expression to the unsaid and what can be revealed behind our pauses and silences.
At Jan van Eyck, Tuncay’s studio overlooks a municipal parking lot and its commotion of squealing tires, blaring alarms, laughter, quarreling, and glass shattering all hours of the day and night. To the right, the lot is bordered by the Conservatorium Maastricht and its accompanying sounds of instruments tuning, vocalists singing, and musicians repeating partitions, while to the left, the academy’s white façade takes on the appearance of a blank, open page. Using his studio window as a cinematic framing device, Tuncay questions how countless hours spent in front of screens have shaped our perceptions of reality. Written across the academy’s exterior, Poems from Descriptive Noise becomes a script for the actions of the parking lot beneath as they play out, so to speak, to the score of the neighboring conservatory. It becomes a filmic (mis)narration of daily life, wherein the lines between offline and online, public and private space converge and blur.
Text by Amanda Sarroff