When was the last time you've cried with other people? Can tears bring us together? We're inviting you to moisten this dry universe. Cry for nothing! Cry for a laugh!'
With these lines the artist collective Ha Za Vu Zu introduced its event 'Ağlama Atölyesi / Crying Workshop', held at The Moving Museum Istanbul’s headquarters at Caferiye Han. An ensemble of tambourine, keyboard, saxophone, ukulele, drums, electric guitar, trumpet, keyboard, and spoken word played a sad carnivalesque score. On a table at the centre of the space labelled 'Crying tools,' onions and a chopping board were made available to the audience. Members of the collective channelled the dramatisations of Commedia Dell'Arte's Pierrot as they offered to rub mentholated ointment below or squeeze lemons above participant's eyes.
Ha Za Vu Zu produce musical performances, installations, and events in which the roles of artist, performer and director are constantly shifting. The virtuosic and the amateur coexist in their informal events, at which they often play an improvised set before leaving the stage to the audience. The collective have described their engagement with music as animalic, and describe it as taking shape partly in response to coming from a depoliticized generation. At beginning of 'Crying Workshop' guests sit cooly around on stairs or on seats in the arcade, but gradually many get involved. The collective's performance not only breaks the fourth wall of the stage but also challenges the dominance of contemplative perception altogether in its bid to affect the viewer physiologically.
Ha Za Vu Zu (formed in 2005, Istanbul) is an artist collective based in Istanbul. Selected performances and presentations include District Berlin, 2016, Land Salzburg, 2016, Karsi Sanat, Istanbul, 2016; MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2015; Kunsthalle Exnergasse WUK, Vienna, 2015; Istanbul Jazz Festival, 2015; HOTEL CHARLEROI, Charleroi, 2014; Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2013; UCCA, Beijing, 2013; TANAS, Berlin, 2012; Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich, 2010; Frac des Pays de la Loir, Carquefou, 2009; MASA Project, Istanbul; Hafriyat Karakoy; Istanbul, 2009.