For the Illusions Set - İllüzyonlar Seti İçin

• Liv runs an old house as a hotel, a stop-in space, a work place for the artist (remember Alighiero Boetti in Kabul and Aydın bey from Winter Sleep). She will be taking notes here as her project develops.

• Liv eski bir evi otel olarak işletiyor. Aynı zamanda kendisi ve diğer sanatçılar için uğrama, durma ve çalışma yeri olarak da kullanıyor. (Kabil'deki Alighiero Boetti'yi ve Kış Uykusu'ndaki Aydın Bey'i hatırla). 'İllüzyonlar Seti İçin' isimli projesi ilerledikçe notlarını buraya ekleyecek.


When winter comes the house is cold, it is seriously cold. The window frames have gaps in them. And because the house is so big with a large staircase in the middle, it is almost impossible to keep the warm air in.

The only hope is that the ground floor has little windows and the walls are made up of earth and hay and they are over 60 cm thick. They hold the heat in if a fairly strong wood stove is in action. I suppose our stove is not a very good one. It is designed for coal. It is one those where you have a circular lid at the top and a metal bucket inside. I am always told to use coal with it but I prefer wood.

In Turkish wood stove is SOBA, a word I like the sound of very much. I even like how it sits on paper with its chubby O, B and S. The letters are giving, they sit as though they keep the paper warm. Or perhaps it is only my romantic misreading of them. One comes to feel a certain privilege when she announces a favourite word from a newly learned language. I may be in that place of mind now.

I am learning a new language, I live in a new language and I am making close acquaintances with the words I like the sounds and shapes of. I do wonder though, if I will ever feel the word SOBA like a native speaker who uses it daily on these cold days; like my friendly neighbour living across the narrow road to my house. What SOBA means to her should be compared to what it currently means to me. However, I don't speak good enough Turkish to discuss this with her.


In the mid summer it gets really hot here. It has a sly Mediterranean fancy for its doings. Everything is fuming and there is a special quietness in the already quiet village. The only cool part of the house is the ground floor; the space that used to be used to store beans, lentils, rice and flour about 60 years ago. Below here is where they kept the cows, perhaps some goats too.

Top floor is inhabitable in the middle of August. It is too hot in the day and I am afraid there is a resident bat somewhere in the roof that manages to fly through the open windows in the night. It's alright. It leaves on its own when we turn off the lights.

Children make a lot of noise on the dusty streets in summer nights and they go to bed much later than I am used to back home.


I come here for 4-5 months a year. The house works as a small hotel with 5 bedrooms plus my own one. I have a few young women from the village to help me with the running of the house. I like having people around. The rooms are small and simple. Guests seem to like them. Turkish people, especially, like to cherish their old possessions when a non-turk makes a living with them. They appreciate the work I have done and fondly act agreeable. I am still not sure though if they come and visit us and stay in the house to genuinely support me and my ideas or if they are passive aggressively announcing their original ownership of the whole thing. I am not sure. This makes me feel uneasy at times.

I tried to decorate the rooms in their original ways. Each room has a single bed which works as a sofa in the day. Turks call this 'sedir'. It is the most useful design for a living space. Your bed becomes your sofa, your chair and sometimes your table. Although I have put a small desk in each room. If a second person wants to stay in, we simply add another mattress on the floor. It is beautiful, simple, hassle-free and keeps my heart warm.

Top floor is a communal sitting room. I have a small room there too which is my study. I have a desk, a basic built-in cupboard and a sedir by the windows looking out to the lake and olive groves. Decorating a room in the ways of a very different culture to my own can be seem arrogant. I try not be but it may seem so. It is like learning a new word and keep using it at every given opportunity and always trusting its dictionary meaning. How much can you know really. I trusted all the decoration magazines I bought over the years. I hoped to avoid the oriental vibe. Hopefully I have. My grandmother who probably never sat on the floor on a rug might find these rooms extremely weird or awkward. She died when I was in my mid 20s, so I never had the chance to invite her here or even just ask her to sit on her own rug back home. How weird, how unnecessary she'd probably say. Many things could seem entirely unnecessary for her.