Come Out and Play (2013) takes its cue from the protests and political events that have been taking place in Istanbul since the summer of 2013. The sense of community that has flourished among the protestors during the course of these events points to the power of communication, improvisation, humour, and play as tools for political dissent. The word play (oyun in Turkish) is at the centre of the investigation for this particular work. The word was infamously used in an election campaign slogan of Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdoğan: ‘Oyuna Gelme’ is a Turkish idiom that means ‘don’t partake in the game/ploy, don’t let yourself be tricked’, but literally translates as ‘don’t come to play’. The Prime Minister employed the phrase during the Gezi protests to give the underlying message: ‘the protests taking place across the country are a Western conspiracy against sovereign Turkey, so don’t be fooled’.
The title of this artwork functions as a reverse call to action: do come out and play! Come out and Play also points the participatory nature of the work. With all the tools and materials provided, audience members are invited to add their own stories and reflections to the installation by editing and adding to existing content and reshaping the piece throughout the duration of exhibition. By actively playing with the work, the audience re-imagines and re-creates miniature paper cutouts that become giant shadows of their own desire and imagination.