Hard shift for living statues

ADANA, Turkey
Published 30.10.2017 20:20
Living statue performers perform with intense concentration, standing still for hours.
Living statue performers perform with intense concentration, standing still for hours.

Artists are well-versed in hours-long preparations to play real and characters, from costume changes to painting their bodies and standing still for hours

Living statue performance artists, who depict real and imaginary characters in costumes with painted bodies and standing still for hours, get ready for their hard shifts with much effort.

Artists performing living statue performances, a type of street art, firstly study the basic features of the character that they will play while standing still for hours.

Having studied the most distinct gestures, clothes and attitudes of the character, the artists start their shows after a long makeup and costume period, which can last for hours on some occasions.

The artists, who perform with intense concentration while they stand still for hours, can make people experience interesting moments by giving small reactions to some of the people who get close or take photos.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), head of a living statue performance team Özge Didem, who has come to Adana for an event, said that theater acting and living statue performance are very different from each other.

Telling that her job has many difficulties, Didem continued: "We elaborate on the character that will be focused on in the show. Then, the step of acting comes. Our costumes are stitched. After the sewing, the dyeing process is the next step. Our statue should be very realistic. We generally produce the accessories by ourselves, since even finding a wig which is proper for the character is really hard. You are painted completely. The paints have a weight, as well. We also experience many difficulties during the performances. It is a show that is performed in public face to face. Therefore, controlling people is very difficult. They can come near us."

'People tweak a cheek'

Didem said that they have won recognition and the attention from people during their shows, and naturally, some people try to break their concentration.

Mentioning they also experience good interactions, Didem said: "People are sometimes extremely obstinate since we stand still. They are surprised how we can continue it. There are some who try to make us laugh. They move in front of us, even tweak a cheek from us. However, these aren't malevolent actions. When we keep our position and don't move, the atmosphere gets joyous. There are some who are scared. Most people don't think we are real and think we are sculptures or models. The most important part is actually that and we want to give it. We stand still. They come near us in order to take a photo with us since they think we are statues. Then, they scream with a little move we make. These are very entertaining moments."

Both joyous and hard

Ali Cazim Gümüş, 19, who plays Charlie Chaplin, said that he prepared for his role by studying the actor.

Explaining how the reactions he got during his show made him experience different feelings, Gümüş continued: "People get close in order to check whether I am alive or not. I get good reactions."

Mercan Dökmen, 20, who plays the role of Legolas from the book and film "The Lord of the Rings," which was written by English philologist J.R.R Tolkien and directed by Oscar winner Peter Jackson, said that they experience interesting things while they stand still.

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