Anna Wood Reads from “The Endless Loop in My Mind” by Seçil Koman
Flip the blueprint
In the course of developing her artist’s book The Endless Loop in My Mind (Bored Wolves, out today!) around paintings channeling the remembered palette and contours of her grandmother’s apartment in Izmir during childhood summer holidays, NYC-based Turkish artist Seçil Koman mentioned she had unspoken words in her to write, to companion the paintings.
And so Seçil began to write, and she wrote, and wrote some more—one chapter became two, two became four, five led to pivotal six—working closely with the book’s editor and designer, Sevinç Çalhanoğlu, in New York, and a special thing happened: The Endless Loop in My Mind contains roughly the same number of paintings, but along the way it became a work of literature, of autobiographical prose and prose poetry.
Melding the tingling expectancy of E. Nesbit with Perecquian attention to detail, Seçil not only explores her grandmother’s apartment as a blueprintable stage—with its grape-flavored balcony, ballad-playing radio, and cocooned wardrobe—but the transformational notion of her grandmother as the home, containing within her roomy self its Scandinavian living-room set and CRT television, its pantry and pickle crocks.
And its irreplaceable promise of safety.
This audio extract, read by Anna Wood, the book’s exceptional translator from the Turkish, begins right after Seçil reflects that her primary-school answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” might have been “my grandmother’s home.” But again, the home was her grandmother. So here Seçil begins ticking off all the things and ways she, the granddaughter, would have to be in order to embody her Miyazakian house-grandma.