Static Shifts, Dynamic Rifts
Burak Kabadayı’s exhibition Static Shifts, Dynamic Rifts examines concepts of motion and energy through cases from tuner culture. The exhibition traces the complex relationships between cars made in Turkey, and amateur drivers who use them arbitrarily for spectacles, considering environmental and mechanical factors that affect driving.
The multi-channel installation, sharing the same title as the exhibition, documents performances by different people in their usual flow, occurring in various locations in the city. These performances represent manifestations of power among drivers, as well as moments when the car and the driver become equally critical, pulling off maneuvers that generate resistance against force. We find different groups of videos arranged heterogeneously in the exhibition space. Emphasizing the dominance of spatial conditions in performance, these show vast areas in which driving spectacles take place. Moreover, they reveal the changing focus of power from the perspective of a vehicle in motion in which peripheral sights lose their form, an effect of acceleration. Comprising the subtitles, Circle, Straight, and Oblique, the installation focuses on the movements of the cars, outlines of the track, and traces of the rides from different angles.
Circle consists of two simultaneous video recordings of a car revolving around the same center in an empty space. The images show a car that moves systematically and steadily. We see the horizon from the interior and the interventions on the ground from above. Straight shows the movements of a vehicle transported on a tow truck and the changes that occur on its dashboard. While the car skids to a standstill, the tractor moves towards the horizon before finally disappearing. The indicators on the dashboard render the expended energy explicit and the fog cloud dissolves into the atmosphere, making the opposing forces visible. Oblique focuses on the two lateral wheels and a glass globe suspended in the rearview mirror of a car while it does a lap around a track. Each maneuver of the vehicle generates a new projection. The sound components of the work combine these three subtitles in the exhibition space. This composition consists of sounds and noises particular to the car engine, exhaust, and tire to foreground the criteria of proximity, distance, and its criteria alongside the intensity of movement.
Static Shifts, Dynamic Rifts deals with the relationship between objects and humans, the decisive role of experience and impulse in this relationship, and the ’empty spaces’ that constantly shapeshift during performances. Distancing from hierarchical, one-way, and centripetal relations that stem from distinctions such as living-inanimate, active-passive, and other related parameters between subjects and objects, it aims to approach all components of events as equals and to reveal their conscious interactions.
 Amateur drivers form communities and organize events related to cars. They usually come together in car parks or closed track areas to perform spectacular driving techniques like drift and spin. The driver’s competence lies in the core of their performance, which relies heavily on both the vehicle and the community. Vehicles are taken out of their factory settings and are customized according to drivers’ tastes and driving styles to pull off certain maneuvers. They are personalized in terms of aesthetics and tuned with performance enhancements. Although the vehicles share similarities, modifications occur idiosyncratically. As a result, each vehicle is unique in its own way.