birgit auf der lauer & caspar pauli 

a karagöz of freedom and dissent


21.12.2018, 18:00-20:00
At the same time of the opening, at the entrance of Nimet Han
ÇTO6, the fundraising party of PASAJ will be realized.

Visiting hours: 
28.12.2018 & 4.01.2019, 14:00-19:005.01.2019, 12:00-15:00

First workshop session:

22.12.2018, 15:00-18:00
 Second workshop session: 

29.12.2018, 15:00-18:00

Old works of Gölge Oyunu or Karagöz Theatre is the main orientation point for the artist duo Birgit Auf der Lauer & Caspar Pauli during their journeys through Istanbul. Today the remnants of this once prominent theatre form can be found mostly during Ramadan, performed for children – thanks to a once heavily pro-Western cultural attitude. During their exhibition, artists invite anyone who is interested to work with them on the once prominent markers of Karagöz performances: diversity, identity, and political dissent.

For adult audiences in the Ottoman Empire Karagöz performances were comic relief in times of political or social pressure. Karagöz's nuances reached from high culture in the sultan's palace to streetwise theatre in the mahalle. Throughout their research, the artists learned that any member of the multicultural Constantinople would get their fair share of beating, ridicule, and lewdness. The carefully crafted leather figures display a variety of identities; a range of women, men, and queer types, as well as diverse social and cultural backgrounds: Jews, Albanians, Armenians, Kurds, Rum... The figures’ constant entanglement in misunderstandings that stem from the Constantinople “gobble di goop” was a solid source for laughter, especially after a sultan executed harsh censorship on art and culture that ridiculed government officials or disrespecting moral codes.

How can we make all this information useful for us right now? What contemporary desires and dissent can be found or inserted into this old material? What kind of Karagöz cast would you like to see, if the backdrop or göstermelik is today's discriminating nationalist frenzies? During their research exhibition at Pasaj Birgit & Caspar open up all of the found materials they gathered throughout their research, inviting you to work with them on re-reading and re-writing these old pieces and narratives. And if writing is not your preferred medium you are welcome to release your inner Karagöz and draw, cut, puzzle things and ideas that don’t belong together otherwise.

If you would like to participate in one or both of the workshop sessions, please send a direct message to Pasaj through facebook for registration. The language will not a barrier since all the materials are available in Turkish with German and English translations, as well as some examples in Ottoman. The sessions will be mainly in English and Turkish, and French and German speakers can also be accommodated. 

Birgit Auf der Lauer & Caspar Pauli are a visual artist duo from Berlin, they are currently holding a scholarship from the Berlin Senate as artists in residence in Istanbul. Depo is the hosting organization for this residency. 

Artists page:


Thursday - Friday 

14:00 - 19:00 


11.00 - 15.00 


Mumhane street Nimet Hanı 45/29 Karaköy


+90 534 613 01 80