“Book of Responses” creates artistic video contents by combining poetry and contemporary art. As an attempt to revive the traditional poetic practice of writing response poems [nazirecilik] in today’s conditions, the project turns into exhibitions set up with texts, sounds, and images in response to 12 poems. Instead of writing only a new poem in reply to the main poem, the videos question the relationship between word-sound-image and movement by responding with works in audio-visual formats. In this way, beyond working on poetry in the poetic and editorial sense, one also deals with the production of poetry with a curatorial practice.
The poems to which responses are written throughout the project consist of a collection that varies from the mystical verses by Asaf Hâlet Çelebi to the experimental poetry of the Viennese artist Gerhard Rühm, from the elegy written by the Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini for his mother to the poem addressing women by the feminist-activist writer Audre Lorde, and all the exhibitions within the scope of the project are open to access via the website of the UR Collective. The scenarios of the produced videos are written by Monica Papi; the videos are curated by Monica Papi and Elvin Eroğlu while their original music and sound design is undertaken by Tolga Balcı, and they are directed and edited by Özgür Demirci. Researching the influence of the art of writing response poems on other fields of art within the context of connotation and reproduction, the Book of Responses project brings together poets in reading recordings, drawings and translation workshops besides online exhibitions.
The online screenings and all the interdisciplinary works realized during the project are collected in a book edited by Monica Papi and Burak Fidan and designed by Vahit Tuna. In this way, dealing from a modern perspective with the no longer practiced traditional art of writing response poems and, aiming at expanding the production of poetry within the field of contemporary art, the project becomes a printed contemporary book of responses.