Learning from Istanbul
Video, installation, photography
Artists: Can Altay, Osman Bozkurt, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Deniz Gül, Emre Hüner, Ceren Oykut, Didem Özbek, Bas Princen, Tayfun Serttaş, Solmaz Shahbazi, Ali Taptık
Curators: Kaja Pawełek and Serra Özhan
Exhibition architecture: Jakub Szczęsny / Project Group Centrala
Emre Hüner’s video Total Realm is presented during the exhibition on the screen VideoBoard on Sezam shopping centre at the corner Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska Streets, daily at 7 p.m. and at 8 p.m.
In the public space in the City of Warsaw are exposed posters by Ceren Oykut. Exhibition is accompanied by a series of lectures presented by art and urbanism theoreticians from Istanbul: Orhan Esen: 28th September (Tuesday), 7 p.m., Pelin Derviş: 11th October (Monday), 7 p.m., and Max Cegielski.
Publication of the OBIEG magazine special edition will appear in the end of September 2010. The exhibition Diverçity. Learning from Istanbul takes the city as a resource of fictive narratives, private (hi)stories, dreams and desires, still in the process of recreations, and speculations. Here, polyphony and fragmentation make one unable to grasp the city in a fixed formula, because, as the exhibition claims, urban and architectural potential is continuously re- constructed by negotiations, by individually-organized temporary systems, by the local adaptations and phenomena of the everyday practices in which innumerous strategies of survival (mostly considered as informal) are created.
Beyond any strict urban planning or architectural perspectives, the intension was more to give voice to the inner and more personal artists’ observations and intuitions. What results are the tiny pieces of reality and fiction, recognized, combined, transformed and retold. Fictive narrations, based upon a long tradition of story telling allow to reveal different, often marginal or hidden, images and voices. That is why a lot of diverse voices can be heard – those of monologues of the inhabitants of a collapsed city district; dialogues of the people brought by daily coincidence to the microcosm of a small grocery; girl questioning and playing with the new rituals of consumerism; photographer’s testimony, who recalls desire of self-staging. Small gestures and rituals can generate distinctive city locations, which contribute to the vast mechanism of the city, like informal ‘republics’, characterised by alternative visual or performative codes. They create its intensity on the very street level, in the form of spectacle of everyday life shortcuts, ad hoc relations, and coincidental occurrences like quotidian performances.
Contemporary city speeds up, so that the historical architectural layer of the past, taken for granted, becomes somehow a materialized phantom. It returns however, in the internal, individual encounters, memories and phantasies. If we go beyond the economy-based categories such as growth, expansion, or modernisation, what images and stories could be revealed when one imagines the city’s future – and its future inhabitants? The horizon ahead seems less and less predictable, balancing between rising hopes and dystopian disillusions, and the future begins imperceptibly now and can go beyond with our imagination. For some of the artists ‘Imagined now’ goes thousand years ahead in the drawing projections or is documented in the images of the city’s outskirts, where the city expands its borders and changes its shape, shifting from the mass scale to micro scale.
The exhibition spatial setting by Kuba Szczęsny sets areas of high density and open space, by aiming to condense the relations between the art works and the public and to create separated and fragmented intimate perspectives. It suggests chaos resulting from the meeting of different ways of organizing the city, in which the former rules of development are being erased by the new established ones. The effect is intended to be a structure which makes the viewer engage in the search of one’s logic of visiting or rather winding through the rooms. In this context both the space and public would experiment with this potentiality, listen and hear what is hidden behind. Same as the city itself the exhibition can be performed in that sense. It will be an exhaustingly nice walk through the districts of a foreign city.
KAJA PAWEŁEK & SERRA ÖZHAN
Image: Ali Taptık, for Cityscale
Zofia Chojnacka tel./fax +48 22 625 05 22 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibition opening: Friday, 17th September, 6.00 p.m.
Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle
ul. Jazdów 2, 00-467 Warsaw, Poland
Galleries open everyday except for Mondays from 12 pm to 7 pm
Fridays from 12 pm to 9 pm
Last visitors admitted one half hour before galleries close.