Merve Şendil

Born in 1982 in Ankara. Lives and works in Çanakkale.

Underscene Project is a large and comprehensive repository of all kinds of sound recordings and related materials of music groups that have not circulated professionally, which Merve Şendil started in 1998 as a continuation of her intense interest in music genres outside the mainstream since her student years. Underscene is a developable open archive.

Merve Şendil met Young Mirror on her way to trace local music bands from Çanakkale as part of the Underscene project for the 8th Çanakkale Biennial. Two girls, who have been best friends since childhood, form the band "Young Mirror" to make music together. Their parents, who were dentists, were not very supportive of their children's passion for making music, and the lack of dialog with their families was reflected in their lyrics, even causing them to appear on stage in dental scrubs from time to time.

In 1994, the band members tragically lost their lives at a very young age in a fire that burned down a large forest area in Gallipoli. Young Mirror gave 10 concerts in Çanakkale until 1994, and after each concert the audience grew a little more. On the one hand, it inspired people to make their own music, but on the other hand, it left many musicians feeling that they would never be able to play as well and passionately as they did.

After this tragic loss, Şendil wanted to reconstruct their story and gathered materials such as concert posters, childhood photos from their families, the aprons they wore on stage, the materials that accompanied them on stage, the drumsticks and picks they used, their lyrics, their slogans, and conducted video interviews with people who witnessed Young Mirror in their own time. She establishes a connection between the images of Young Mirror's history and reality that may become relatively blurred, but is so strong that it cannot disappear. In an installation that walks the fine line between fact and fiction, how can you tell the story of a band without music?

"Young Mirror" should basically be evaluated according to how reality is handled. It could be an exact reflection of reality, it could be a denial and distortion of reality, or it could be a deliberate departure from reality or an attempt to transcend it. The important point here is that it is not possible to escape from reality in all cases that seem diametrically opposed to each other. Although it is not possible to change reality through artistic production alone, it is quite possible to appropriate a certain part of it.