I was invited to visit the village of Ibrahimpaşa in Capadoccia (central Turkey) by Australian artists, Tracey Benson + Martin Drury who were doing a residency at the Babayan Culture House.
The performance began with walking down the main street of the village towards the village square, transporting my herd of origami elephants in a case.
I was passed by others either walking or riding donkeys.
And when I reached the seat in the town square I set about getting my elephants ready for their walk from the square to the main cafe where a number of men were seated.
This caravan consisted of the same elephants I herded in Istanbul a month earlier except for one elephant: the one made out of a newspaper collected in Istanbul.
For this walk from the square to the cafe I started with this elephant.
All other elephants were made out of reading material collected in the countries we travelled through to get to Istanbul.
I was occupied in what looked like a low-key activity by placing elephant after elephant towards the cafe - a caravan of just a few metres.
Being 'naturally' occupied like this makes it easier for people to first watch and then to engage with me. In response to questions from those seated and those who came into the square I told them that I was taking a caravan of elephants for a walk.
My role was to look after them as best as I could and with good humour.
Here in this quiet village the only threat was when one car came up to the line. However it was not difficult to convince him to park beside the caravan.
During a discussion I was told that these should be camels because the silk route passed through this area.
I explained that as a herdswoman I was assisting what is natural: in nature elephants travel in lines while camels would need to be led.
I'd chosen elephants for various reasons and like other performances my role here was as a participant with the public. So I chose not to dazzle anyone with lots of reasons nor to make hard arguments. And so people continued to ask me questions. And there was room for dialogue and people's own views about why I was doing this.
And just as in previous performances the public didn't just ask me what I was doing but offered their views and advice.
When I pointed out that the last elephant in the line came from Istanbul they all laughed. And likewise when I pointed out the bite marks from a dog in Istanbul on the legs of one of the elephants.
Others were told which countries the elephants came from. They also wanted to know why the Italian elephant was so small. I said it was because that was the size of the church village newsletter.
And the largest elephant, a white one, bore text on the inside in Polish from one of the Venice Biennale pavilions. Again the size of the reading material determined the size of the elephant and so these differences in size, paper and type of text made them seem more like a community of diversity. This caravan -a travelling exhibit- is in turn a product of travel through diverse urban and rural loctions across Europe and into a part of Asia.
For the Istanbul performance I was engaged in a continual process of placement and replacement until I was stopped by the police after 2 hours and 60 metres of progress across Taksim Square. Here because of the setting, I chose to place them in one line, leaving them there for about an hour before I then packed them up one by one again. In doing this, the focus became more about the idea of arranging them in a line than about the progress or journey.
One affect of this was that in being more like a short-lived installation people walked around and looked at this more as art object than as part of an activity -similiar to my Sailing Home performance where the affect was more like a poetic intervention than the performative with poetic (and political) undertones.
Later a group of 30 French hiking tourists passed by and when they stopped and inquired, most gave me a look of contempt at the phrase "taking a caravan across here" before taking a photograph and continuing with their walk.
Encountering a herd of origami elephants was obviously too far fetched for most of these tourists, although they still took photographs of the phenomenon they encountered: they were tourists afterall.