Hale Ekinci (Chicago, IL)
June 2018. Performance and process documentation. 5 min 7 secs. Museum collection fabric, polyfill, HD video with sound (music adapted from “Fork-Tailed Emerald” by Ben Seretan). Dimensions variable.

Your Haint Blue is My Evil Eye is an interactive fiber and video installation that explores personal relationships with material objects and cultural comparisons of the Middle East and the US South. By drawing parallels between these regions, Ekinci combines folkloric practices with her heritage and status as an immigrant.

Through the fabrication of over +130 soft sculpture talismans, Ekinci stitches together symbols of protection: the Southern use of “haint blue” paint and the Middle Eastern “evil eye” amulet. Participants are invited to pick an evil eye and place it in a chosen space or on an object in the museum that needs protection, with a written note explaining their choice. Your Haint Blue is My Evil Eye prompts protection of the most fragile parts of the museum while archiving personal relationships with things.

The accompanying video within the elevated installation in the public museum interweaves scenes that document the production of the evil eyes, mimic unpaid labor associated with women, and present a female shaman figure who performs these overlapping pagan rituals. In relating a stereotyped woman to a shaman in action, Ekinci blesses parts of the museum she finds precious through these old traditions of interconnected cultural heritage.

Music Composed, Performed, Recorded & Mixed by Ben Seretan

Documentation support: Samantha Burns, Imani Thomas

Project In Response To: Revolving Spectrum, Southern StaticInterstellar Uber/Negotiations with God

Detail shot of Evil Eye placed in carousel by visitor. Photo Credit: Imani Thomas.

Above: Ekinci mixes haint blue dye; recolors fabrics; sews evil eyes; discusses project with visitor. Photo Credit: Hale Ekinci, Imani Thomas, Amelia Nura